Interrobang Itinerary: Liam Pieper

We asked some Wheeler Centre regulars to tell us what they're most excited about seeing at The Interrobang, our festival of questions. Liam Pieper is the content director of The Writers Bloc and author of The Feel-good Hit of The Year. At the upcoming Interrobang festival, he'll be seeking answers to questions of grammar, comedy and molecular biology. These are his top picks for the festival.


Above: 'Two minds running on more-or-less parallel tracks, both great on Twitter, both kind of horribly nasty.'

1. Rob Delaney and Benjamin Law: Are cockroaches attracted to human tears, and if so, why? 

(Friday 27 November, 6.30pm)

Two minds running on more-or-less parallel tracks, both great on Twitter, both kind of horribly nasty. Rob Delaney is an unstrung absurdist genius, comic actor and unapologetically gynocentric polemicist. Benjamin Law is by turns a brilliant investigative journalist, comedic screenwriter and master of obscene emoji; a man who has polished a low-key coprophilia into a shining career in letters. 

2. Upulie Divisekera: How does the world end? 

(Saturday 28 November, 4.00pm)

Molecular biologist Upulie Divisekera pairs a dry-cool wit with an undiminished wonder at the scientific marvels that underpin the universe, all combined with a barely contained disdain at the stupidity that threatens both the world and the science we need to understand it. If anyone knows how the world ends, she does.

"パパ、タートルになりたい..." "Papa, I want to be a turtle..."

A photo posted by Adam Liaw (@liawadam) on


Above: 'Do you follow @liawadam on Instagram? Good God his son is cute. Hope for the future after all.'

3. What future do we want – and deserve? Questions for the places, politics and pleasures of the hereafter.

(Saturday 28 November, 7.00pm)

I’ve always been a huge fan of spec-fic, but in this world dystopian world of Google Glass, Snapchat, Uber and a brief Abbott Prime Ministership, the concept of speculative fiction is increasingly redundant, so here’s Adam Liaw, Kristin Alford and Maggie Ryan Sandford to explore what happens next. Also, maybe Liaw will bring his family! Do you follow him on Instagram? Good God his son is cute. Hope for the future after all.

4. Mary Norris and Jane Caro: Why does ‘i’ come before ‘e’, except after ‘c’?

(Saturday 28 November, 2.30pm)

Like millions of other writers living precariously cheque by cheque, I suffer terribly from the arbitrary rules of grammar in the English Language, which is, let’s face it, a scandalous bastard of dubious paternity. Mary Norris, who is the epitome of everything we love about that shining holdfast of great writing The New Yorker, will hopefully help me talk pretty one day. And yes, I stole that line from David Sedaris, but I’ve stolen pretty much everything from David Sedaris, so I’m not going to stop now.

Portrait of Liam Pieper

Liam Pieper is an author and journalist. His first book was a memoir, The Feel-Good Hit of the Year, shortlisted for the National Biography Award and the Ned Kelly Best True Crime award. His second was the Penguin Special Mistakes Were Made, a volume of humorous essays. He was co-recipient of the 2014 M Literary Award, winner of the 2015 Geoff Dean Short Story Prize and the inaugural creative resident of the UNESCO City of Literature of Prague. His first novel, The Toymaker, received the 2016 Christina Stead Fiction Award from the Fellowship of Australian Writers.