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Books and Ideas at Montalto
Meg and Tom Keneally
Tom and Meg Keneally are an unlikely crack novel-writing team who write about an unlikely crack murder-investigation team.
Tom Keneally is an icon of Australian literature: a Booker Prize-winner, a Miles Franklin-winner, and the author of The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Schindler’s Ark and other classics. Meg Keneally is a former journalist and PR specialist turned crime writer. The father-daughter pair have now co-written four books in the Monsarrat historical crime-novel series, about a convict and his trusted housekeeper who travel between Australian penal colonies cracking murder cases.
Their latest book, The Ink Stain, sees Monsarrat and Mrs Mulrooney travel to Sydney to investigate a corruption case that might extend all the way to the governor.
How did the Keneally collaboration come about? What are their creative similarities and differences as writers? Hear from this pair of gifted storytellers as they answer these questions, and many more, at Montalto with Elizabeth McCarthy.
The Wheeler Centre
Not Racist, But …: Racism and the Criminal Justice System
Santilla Chingaipe, Roxanne Moore, Tamar Hopkins and Fiona McLeod at the Wheeler Centre
In this edition of our Not Racist, But series, we discuss racial bias in the criminal justice system – from policing and legal aid to jury selection and sentencing.
Indigenous Australians account for just 2% of our country’s overall population and more than a quarter of our adult prison population. How, specifically, is this a function of explicit and structural racism across various facets of our enforcement and justice systems? And how are all non-white Australians – especially those from refugee backgrounds – disadvantaged when interacting with police and with the courts?
In this discussion, host Santilla Chingaipe and the panel explore how racial discrimination and bias play out on a daily and inter-generational basis in Australia. They look at racial data collection, too, and how sensationalist media reporting can skew perception, politics and policy.
With lawyer and Accountability Round Table Chair Fiona McLeod; Noongar woman, lawyer and NATSILS Executive Officer Roxanne Moore; and FKCLC Police Accountability Project founding lawyer Tamar Hopkins.
The Fifth Estate
Family Violence Emergency
Sally Warhaft and Jess Hill
The recent book by Jess Hill, See What You Made Me Do, calls for a drastic and urgent rethink in the way we conceive of family violence in Australia. Rigorously researched, and packed with interviews and case studies, it's a once-in-a-generation book that asks us to look beyond received wisdom to confront the complexities of family violence squarely.
Hill asks: What are we really doing about family violence? Why, in so many cases, are our justice and enforcement systems making things worse for women and children? Why have we settled for modest gains and vague long-term targets? What causes perpetrators to be violent and what can we do to stop it right now?
With host Sally Warhaft, the Walkley-winning investigative journalist discusses her four-year undertaking of research and writing for See What You Made Me Do.
Upsizing Crime: Misha Glenny on McMafia Culture
Darknet agents in Brazil. Money-launderers in Dubai. Gun-runners in Ukraine. And drug syndicates in Canada. Whether it’s phishing scams, black-market pills or black-hat hacking, organised crime has reached beyond state borders to become a truly global phenomenon.
Covering the fall of Yugoslavia as the BBC’s Central Europe correspondent, Misha Glenny, journalist and author of McMafia: crime without frontiers, saw…
Group Texts: Hit List: Australian Crime Writing
It’s no mystery that Australian crime writers are on some kind of a rampage – some kind of a spree – filling bookshops, racing up bestseller lists and taking over big and small screens across the globe.
Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies has been a major TV hit. The series’ executive producer, Reese Witherspoon, is now working on a movie…
Books and Ideas at Montalto
Set in a rural farming community, Jane Harper’s debut novel, The Dry, is a tightly-spun and suspenseful thriller. It tells the story of a Federal Police investigator who returns to his hometown after two decades of urban exile – tasked with examining the apparent murder-suicide of his childhood friend’s family. As he works his way through the drought-stricken settlement, a horrific truth begins to reveal itself.
The book has met with a sensational response from readers worldwide – as well as the attention of Hollywood, with film rights snapped up by Reese Witherspoon’s Pacific Standard production company. Critics have praised its sustained tension and unsettlingly vivid evocation of the Australian landscape’s most unforgiving traits.
Born in Manchester, Harper has moved back-and-forth between the UK and Australia, working as a journalist before developing her skills in fiction. A short story published in the Big Issue’s 2014 Fiction Edition provided a spark – but it was winning the 2015 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript that truly lit the fuse for Harper’s writing career.
Over dinner and drinks at Montalto, Harper speaks with Louise Swinn about the genesis of the novel, her creative path through different kinds of writing, and how she’s dealt with the joy (and pressure) of The Dry’s break-out success.
Anything and everything in Crime from across our archives.
The Interrobang: A Festival of Questions
Will the world be a safer place when more women occupy positions of power? Rukmini Callimachi and Anne Summers
Explore these other subjects, across our site.