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Sophie Cunningham: This Devastating Fever


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.


You have the option to pay what you can for this for this event. As a guide, the suggested price is $15, although any amount will help cover our costs and keep these events accessible. Bookings are essential.


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Accessible toilets available

You can learn more about the Wheeler Centre’s accessibility policies here. Please notify us of all access requirements when booking online so we can assist you with your visit. If you require further information, please contact reception on 03 9094 7800 or

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 AM is the author of seven books, across multiple fiction and nonfiction, children and adults and include City of Trees – Essays on life, death and the need for a forest, and Melbourne. She is also editor of the collection Fire, Flood, Plague: Australian writers respond to 2020... 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


The Wheeler Centre

176 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

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