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The Interrobang: A Festival of Questions

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at Athenaeum Theatre

What is it to be wild? Cheryl Strayed and Meghan Daum

Does being ‘wild’ mean being uninhibited, unprotected, uncharted – or simply being free? What wildernesses do we face in our lives, cities, relationships, minds, and how should we meet them? What drives us to pursue inappropriate people, crave incomplete fulfilments, destroy what we love, or even be good?

Wild is, of course, also the name of Cheryl Strayed’s powerful best-selling memoir. It follows its author, then 26, through the death of her mother, a heroin addiction, and the dissolution of her marriage. The 1800km coastal trek she then embarked upon is near-mythic; Reese Witherspoon brought Strayed’s story to Hollywood (and played the lead), and the book led her to discover her half-sister (who recognised her father in Strayed’s writing).

Beyond Wild, Cheryl Strayed’s work (Tiny Beautiful Things, the forthcoming Brave Enough, and her Dear Sugar podcast/column for The Rumpus) deftly handles difficult and familiar subjects.

Her insightful approach to struggle, relationships, etiquette and American myths and aspirations is well-matched to those of her interlocutor: author and essayist Meghan Daum. (In the New York Times Book Review, Strayed described Daum’s book The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion as ‘thrillingly good’ and the best she’d read in 2014.)

Expect unflinching truths.

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 Meghan Daum

Meghan Daum

Meghan Daum has been a columnist on the op-ed page of the Los Angeles Times since 2005. She is the author of four books, most recently The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion, a collection of original essays about sentimentality and manufactured emotion in American life.

She is also the editor of Selfish, Shallow & Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Choice Not to Have Children, featuring essays from celebrated writers including Lionel Shriver, Geoff Dyer, Pam Houston, Sigrid Nunez and Kate Christensen.

She has contributed to National Public Radio's Morning Edition and MarketplaceThis American Life, and has written for numerous publications including The New YorkerHarper'sGQElleVogueNew YorkTravel & LeisureBlackBookThe Village Voice, and the New York Times Book Review.

Portrait of Cheryl Strayed

Cheryl Strayed

Cheryl Strayed is the author of the number one New York Times bestselling memoir Wild, the bestselling advice essay collection Tiny Beautiful Things, the novel Torch and the quotes collection Brave Enough. Her books have been translated into 40 languages around the world.

Strayed's essays have been published in Best American Essays, the New York Times, the Washington Post MagazineVogueSalon, the Sun, Tin House and elsewhere. Strayed is the co-host, along with Steve Almond, of the WBUR podcast Dear Sugar Radio, which originated with her popular Dear Sugar advice column on The Rumpus

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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