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Take Home Reading: Emerging Writers’ Festival Edition

Read Monday, 22 Jun 2020

Introducing Take Home Reading, a new short-form audio series for readers and writers.

Photographs of Prithvi Varatharajan, Monica Tan, Holden Sheppard and Vivian Pham
Clockwise from top left: Prithvi Varatharajan, Monica Tan, Holden Sheppard and Vivian Pham
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Take Home Reading is our new short-form audio series for readers and writers – shining a spotlight on Australian writers with recently released books. 

In each instalment, you’ll be introduced to a writer, learn a little about what they’ve been reading lately, and hear a short reading from their latest work.

For the first batch of episodes, we’ve partnered with our friends at the Emerging Writers’ Festival to spotlight four brilliant new voices from around Australia, writing across fiction, memoir and poetry. 

Listen below, or find all episodes in the series on the Wheeler Centre podcast. 

Photograph of Vivian Pham next to the cover of her book, ‘The Coconut Children’ which features the title in white lettering, partly woven into a purple mess resembling yarn or hair

Vivian Pham

Sydney-based Vivian Pham’s debut novel The Coconut Children tells the fierce and moving story of Sonny and Vince, both children of refugees, living in Cabramatta in 1998.

‘They’re both growing up and trying to figure out who they are, but they’re also trying to understand their parents. It’s through the stories that their parents tell them that they feel a connection towards their culture and their ancestors… It’s equally about how the stories that are withheld from them shape who they are, and the way they see themselves.’

Photograph of Prithvi Varatharajan next to the cover for his book, 'Entries', which features a basic collage of a ladder going into a small swimming pool

Prithvi Varatharajan

Melbourne-based Prithvi Varatharajan’s debut collection Entries playfully explores form, using a combination of poetry and prose to consider memory and experience.

‘The writing … arose from states of joy, anguish, ambivalence and contemplation. The poems come from a period of ten years, while other poetic, essayistic and diaristic pieces were produced with intensity over a shorter duration.’

Photograph of Monica Tan next to the cover of her book, 'Stranger Country', featuring a figure standing in the middle of a remote, red dirt highway

Monica Tan

Stranger Country is a compelling account of Monica Tan’s six-month solo trip to some of Australia’s most beautiful and remote landscapes. A thoughtful and provocative reflection on cultural and national identity, Stranger Country grapples with what it means to call Australia home as a non-Indigenous person.

‘Will I ever really belong to this country? As a Chinese Australian? As a non-Indigenous Australian…? I was 32 years old and barely knew the country of my birth. It was time to change that.’

Photograph of Holden Sheppard next to the cover for his book, 'Invisible Boys', featuring a fading black and white photo of a young man looking at the camera

Holden Sheppard

Invisible Boys is an authentic and energetic young adult novel about three teenage boys coming to terms with their homosexuality in a small Western Australian town. 

‘In this town we have three teenage boys: Zeke, Charlie and Hammer. They’re very different 16-year-old boys: Zeke is a nerd, Charlie’s a punk, Hammer is your classic footy jock and they all seem very different but we discover that all three boys are in the throes of grappling with their sexuality. They’re all gay, and they’re all coming to terms with it in different ways.’

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.