at The Wheeler Centre

Writing the Body

In our daily lives, we’re flooded with images and ideas of how our bodies should or shouldn’t be. Many of us struggle with self-acceptance, and when our bodies deviate from what’s considered ‘normal’, we often also struggle with the attitudes of others.

Carly Findlay and Lee Kofman are both authors of new memoirs that examine how our bodies shape who we become, and what it’s like to look different.

Findlay lives with a rare skin condition, ichthyosis; in Say Hello, she provides an honest, thought-provoking account of her daily life, and a manifesto on disability and appearance diversity. Kofman underwent several major operations as a child – for a defective heart, and after a bus accident – which left her with a collection of scars. Imperfect describes how her markings have influenced her life and pushed her to question prevailing beauty myths.

Together, they’ll reflect on their writing about their own bodies, the space between body and self, and the challenges of representation and self-acceptance in a world that’s often skin deep.

This event will be Auslan interpreted.

Readings will be our bookseller for this event.


Portrait of Carly Findlay

Carly Findlay

Carly Findlay OAM is a writer, speaker and appearance activist. She is the author of memoir Say Hello and the editor of Growing Up Disabled in Australia. She has been published in the ABC, the Guardian, the Age, the Sydney Morning HeraldCNN and Vogue.

Portrait of Lee Kofman

Lee Kofman

Dr Lee Kofman is a Russian-born, Israeli-Australian novelist, short story writer, essayist, memoirist and former academic based in Melbourne. She is the author of three fiction books (published in Israel in Hebrew) and the memoir The Dangerous Bride (Melbourne University Press 2014). Lee is also the co-editor of Rebellious Daughters (Ventura Press, 2016), an anthology of personal essays by prominent Australian authors. Her short works have been widely published in Australia, USA, Canada, Israel, the UK and Scotland. Lee holds a PhD in social sciences and MA in creative writing, and is a mentor and teacher of writing. She is also a regular public speaker and panel moderator.

Portrait of Kelli Jean Drinkwater

Kelli Jean Drinkwater

Kelli Jean Drinkwater is a filmmaker, artist and activist recognised internationally for her creative practice and voice in radical body politics. Kelli Jean uses the body as a site to explore themes of identity, queer and feminist theory and society’s obsession with 'perfection'. Often confrontational, her work aims to investigate the complex relationship we all have with our bodies.


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