The Fifth Estate: Kevin Rudd on Australia’s Post-Pandemic Future
What are the origins of COVID-19? How could the pandemic’s spread have been better contained? These are fraught and complex questions – and finding the right forum to ask them is a diplomatic minefield. How will Australia's call for a World Health Assembly investigation affect our relationship with China and other major global players? And how is the world's diplomatic and…
The Fifth Estate
Kevin Rudd on Australia’s Post-Pandemic Future
Sally Warhaft and Kevin Rudd, live via video-link
What are the origins of COVID-19? How could the pandemic’s spread have been better contained? These are fraught and complex questions – and finding the right forum to ask them is a diplomatic minefield. How will Australia's call for a World Health Assembly investigation affect our relationship with China and other major global players? And how is the world's diplomatic and economic order being reshaped in the midst of the crisis – and of governments' widely varying responses?
Kevin Rudd joins Sally Warhaft for a live-streamed Fifth Estate discussion of these questions and more. As president of the Asia Society Policy Institute in New York, a former Australian diplomat in China, and, of course, our former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Rudd shares his reflections on diplomacy and governance, his insights into how the pandemic is likely to alter international relations, and his thoughts on how Australia can continue to manage the far-reaching economic and political impacts of COVID-19.
The Wheeler Centre
Andrew Sean Greer: The Less We Know
When his novel Less won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Andrew Sean Greer tweeted, he ‘had just persuaded a dog to let me put her into polka dot pajamas (not my dog)’. He literally didn’t believe the news.
Readers clearly feel otherwise. Less tells the story of Arthur Less – a writer fearing his own mediocrity and middle age, who takes on a series of far-flung literary engagements in order to avoid the wedding of a significant ex. With understated eloquence, the book’s narrator is generous to its subject, making for a joyful and nuanced celebration of human complexity. It spent six months on the coveted New York Times bestseller list.
Benjamin Law and Andrew Sean Greer — Photo: Jon Tjhia
Beyond the runaway success of his latest novel, Greer is a novelist, short story writer and writing teacher whose books frequently explore themes of love and time. His other books, including The Confessions of Max Tivoli and The Story of a Marriage, have earned him critical praise for their sensitive, lyrical prose.
Last May, Greer joined Benjamin Law to talk about the ways in which writing can express our hunger for language, for the world, and for each other.
Tommy Orange: There There
Unfortunately, Tommy Orange is no longer able to attend. We apologise for the disappointment, and hope to welcome him to Melbourne at a later date.
‘We’ve been fighting for decades to be recognised as a present-tense people, modern and relevant, alive.’
Tommy Orange's There There – about Native Americans in Oakland, California – is a noisy novel of paradox, dark…
The Wheeler Centre
Rachel Kushner: The Mars Room
Ellena Savage and Rachel Kushner on stage — Photo: Scott Limbrick
‘This is a story that gets to the root of how my society is structured right now … There’s a way that prison is invisible to a middle-class person. It’s not a conspiracy, but it may be by design in certain regards. It’s a serious subject for a novelist.’
Rachel Kushner is among America’s brightest literary stars. With her previous, highly acclaimed novels, Telex from Cuba (about American expatriates in 1950s pre-Castro Cuba) and The Flamethrowers (about radical New York artists in the seventies), she explored two very different scenes of ideological chaos and confusion, with exhilarating prose and virtuosic storytelling.
Kushner's latest novel, The Mars Room, sees her applying her talents, once again, to probing the political context and meaning of a very specific time and place. This time, it’s the American prison system, and it's the present day. The Mars Room is about a woman serving two life sentences for killing her stalker and it’s the product of years of research, and close collaboration with Americans who have themselves served time.
In conversation with Ellena Savage for our Mayhem series in April 2019, the extraordinary Kushner talks crime, punishment and American institutions.
The Fifth Estate: Samantha Power on Influence and Idealism
How does a person navigate the change from activist outsider to influential insider? How do you balance idealism and pragmatism under pressure?
Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Samantha Power has had to navigate these questions first-hand. From a troubled childhood in Dublin to a career as a war correspondent then academic, she landed at the heart of American politics in 2005 –…
Anything and everything in The Americas from across our archives.
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