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Tony Birch: Common People


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A recovering alcoholic prepares for important visitors. Underpaid slaughterhouse workers make a pittance packing meat through the night. And an act of kindness cuts through an ageing child-abuse survivor’s defences.

The Common People who feature in Tony Birch’s eponymous new short-story collection are precisely the kind of marginalised, ignored or forgotten characters that have preoccupied the Miles Franklin Award-shortlisted author, academic and poet throughout his impressive career to date.

Tony Birch will appear in conversation with Chris Flynn at the Wheeler Centre in November to discuss the short-story form, writing life into fiction and the characters and questions that matter to him.


Tony Birch

Tony Birch is the author of four novels, five short fiction collections, and two poetry books. His most recent book is the novel, Women and Children (UQP). ... Read more

Chris Flynn

Chris Flynn is the author of The Glass Kingdom and A Tiger in Eden, which was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize. His fiction and non-fiction have appeared in the Age, the Australian, Griffith Review, Meanjin, Australian Book Review, the Saturday Paper, Smith Journal, the Big Issue, Monster... Read more


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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.