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The Interrobang: A Festival of Questions

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at Collins Street Baptist Church

Truth is stranger than fiction. Can fiction be stronger than truth? Geraldine Brooks and Mark Colvin

In a society seemingly obsessed with (and overcome by) stories, where should we look for truth? Is ‘emotional truth’ a valuable tool and vehicle for reflection, or is it a foolhardy conceit? What does literature offer a world abundant with decadence and despair?

Geraldine Brooks is perfectly placed to consider these questions. Across two decades, the exceptionally accomplished writer has crafted a distinguished career as a foreign correspondent as well as a bestselling author of fiction and non-fiction, winning awards for all three – including the Pulitzer Prize for her novel March. Her far-reaching work has reached topics including rebellion, desire, geopolitics and distant history, augmented by her personal commitment to environmentalism and conversion to Judaism.

Brooks will investigate reality and imagination with a fellow traveller – highly respected journalist, filmmaker and veteran ABC broadcaster Mark Colvin, whose foreign reporting work includes the American hostage crisis in Tehran, the Cambodian peace process and the Ethiopian famine.


Tickets to this event are available at the door. Arrive at least twenty minutes prior to the event to purchase.

Note to early bookers: if you booked tickets to this event prior to Thursday 19 November, some details may have changed. Please check theinterrobang.wheelercentre.com/#important-info for details.


Portrait of Geraldine Brooks

Geraldine Brooks

Geraldine Brooks is an author and journalist who grew up in Sydney's western suburbs. 

In 1982 she won a scholarship to the journalism master's program at Columbia University in New York. Later, she worked for the Wall Street Journal, where she covered crises in the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans.

In 2006, she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in fiction for her novel March. Her novels Caleb's Crossing and People of the Book were both New York Times bestsellers, and Year of Wonders and People of the Book are international bestsellers, translated into more than 25 languages. She is also the author of the acclaimed non-fiction works Nine Parts of Desire and Foreign Correspondence.

In 2011, she presented Australia's prestigious Boyer Lectures, later published as The Idea of Home.

Portrait of Mark Colvin

Mark Colvin

Mark Colvin is an Australian journalist, filmmaker and broadcaster. He has been the presenter of PM, one of the flagship Australian radio current affairs programs on the ABC Radio network, since 1997.

The Interrobang: A Festival of Questions

The Interrobang – a new festival from the Wheeler Centre – is looking for the best questions in the world.

Ask your questions and vote on others, then join us on 27–28 November for a feast of frequently unanswered questions – as we present your most controversial, revealing, funny and insightful ideas to a 28-strong Brains Trust of the world’s most inquisitive thinkers.

Pose your question at The Interrobang festival website. We’re building this festival on your curiosity, so brace yourself – and wonder hard.

Presenting partners

• City of Melbourne
• The University of Melbourne


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