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Sophie Cunningham: This Devastating Fever


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Join celebrated Australian author Sophie Cunningham to discuss the release of her first work of fiction in fourteen years, This Devastating Fever, a deep and darkly funny novel about finding comfort when it feels like you’re living through the end of days.


Sophie Cunningham is one of Australian literature’s most influential figures. She is the author of seven books, a former editor of Meanjin, co-founder of the Stella Prize, and is currently an adjunct professor at RMIT University’s non/fiction Lab.

Her novel This Devastating Fever, her first work of fiction in fourteen years, is the Melbourne City Reads pick for September. Weaving together the life of Leonard Woolf, the turn of the millennium and environmental collapse, Cunningham examines questions about colonial history, the return of fascism, living through disaster and what it means to cultivate a full, loving and creative life.

Join Cunningham and host Emily Bitto for an intimate conversation as they discuss this exhilarating new novel.

The Melbourne City Reads series is generously supported by George and Rosa Morstyn.


Wheelchair accessible

Accessible toilets available

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About the book

The bookseller for this event is The Paperback Bookshop.

Melbourne City Reads

Celebrate local literary culture and the authors who shape it. Rediscover the world through writers’ eyes at monthly events, featuring authors discussing their new books.

The Melbourne City Reads series is generously supported by George and Rosa Morstyn.
Melbourne City Reads


Sophie Cunningham

Sophie Cunningham is a non-fiction writer and novelist with a passion for trees, walking and broader environmental issues. Sophie’s most recent books are This Devastating Fever (Ultimo Press) and Flipper and Finnegan – The True Story of How Tiny Jumpers Saved Little Penguins (Albert Street Books... Read more

Emily Bitto

Emily Bitto is a Melbourne-based writer of fiction, poetry and non-fiction. She has a Masters in Literary Studies and a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne. Her debut novel, The Strays, was the winner of the 2015 Stella Prize. Emily’s fiction, poetry and non-fiction has a... Read more


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176 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.