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The Novel


What is the future of the great Australian novel? Novelists Jessica Au, Brian Castro and André Dao contemplate the novel, the nation and its literature with Lynda Ng.

About the Event

The old novel … had defined boundaries within which information was traded for the reader’s loyalty to a common and national agenda. The new novel places the boundaries themselves under question. — Brian Castro, ‘Heterotopias’ (1994)

Marking 30 years since Brian Castro considered the ‘new novel’, three of Australia’s most talented contemporary novelists discuss the future of the form. Is there such a thing as a ‘Great Australian Novel’, or have twentieth-century paradigms expired? What, exactly, does greatness have to do with fiction? How does the novel relate to the nation? Dr Lynda Ng, lecturer in Australian Literature at the University of Melbourne, will host Jessica Au, Brian Castro and André Dao as they consider the novel, the nation, and the boundaries that shape them.


Presented in partnership with Liminal


Full $19
Concession $15
Pay What You Wish tickets are available for this event

75% of proceeds from Liminal Festival events will go towards future Liminal projects.


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Accessible toilets available

Assistive Listening

Registered Assistance Animals welcome

Wheelchair accessible

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About the Bookseller

The bookseller for this event is Amplify Bookstore.

About Liminal Festival

Bringing together some of the continent’s most talented writers, the Liminal Festival contemplates the language of our shared histories and future.

The Liminal Festival is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.



Liminal Festival


Jessica Au

Jessica Au has worked as a writer, editor and bookseller. Her novel Cold Enough for Snow (2022) won the inaugural Novel Prize and was published by Giramondo, New Directions and Fitzcarraldo Editions, with translations in nineteen languages. It won the Victorian Prize for Literature and the Prime M... Read more

Brian Castro

Brian Castro is the author of twelve novels, a volume of essays and a poetic memoir and cookbook. His novels include the multi award-winning Double-Wolf, Shanghai Dancing and Blindness and Rage. He was the 2014 winner of the Patrick White Award for Literature and the 2018 Prime Minister’s Priz... Read more

André Dao

André Dao is a Melbourne-based writer, editor and artist. His debut novel, Anam, won the 2021 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript. It was published in 2023 by Penguin Random House Australia and Picador UK. He is the co-founder of Behind the Wire, the award-winning ora... Read more

Lynda Ng

Lynda Ng is a Lecturer in English and Theatre Studies at the University of Melbourne. She is the editor of Indigenous Transnationalism: Alexis Wright’s Carpentaria (2018), the recipient of an ARC Discovery Grant for a collaborative project on J. M. Coetzee and was awarded the Margaret Church Mem... Read more


The Wheeler Centre

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.