UNSWriting: Rediscovering Christina Stead and Elizabeth Harrower with Delia Falconer, Gail Jones, David Malouf, Michelle de Kretser, Ivor Indyk and Fiona McFarlane

When:3 Dec 2015, 6pm - 7:30pm
4 Dec 2015, 6pm - 7:30pm
Venue:Io Myers Studio, UNSW
Who:UNSWriting and the Association for the Study of Australian Literature

As part of the symposium Rediscovering Again: Christina Stead and Elizabeth Harrower

UNSWriting presents 

Christina Stead

Event One

Christina Stead Writers’ Panel:
Delia Falconer, Gail Jones and David Malouf 

Facilitated by Fiona Morrison, UNSW and Brigid Rooney, USYD

Thursday 3 December
Io Myers Studio | UNSW Kensington | 6 for 6.30 pm


Stead is a writer to whom other major writers repeatedly turn for inspiration and sustenance. Joining the Stead writers’ panel, Delia Falconer, Gail Jones and David Malouf will speak about their own encounters with Christina Stead’s fiction. They will explore their personal favourites among her novels and think aloud about her writerly craft and vision. What qualities in Stead’s prose yield, as Angela Carter says, its ‘devastating capacity to flay the reader’s sensibilities’ yet all the while managing to restore to us the entire world?

Delia FalconerDelia Falconer

Delia Falconer is well known for her two works of fiction - the novel The Service of Clouds (1997), which was shortlisted for multiple honours including the Miles Franklin Award, and her novella The Lost Thoughts of Soldiers and Selected Stories (2005). She has also published short stories as well as works of non-fiction. Her editing work includes The Penguin Book of the Road (2008) and Best Australian Stories (2008 and 2009) and her academic work continues in her current role as Senior Lecturer in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Technology Sydney.

Gail JonesGail Jones

Gail Jones is the prize-winning author of six novels: Black Mirror (2002), Sixty Lights (2004), Dreams of Speaking (2006), Sorry 2007) and Five Bells (2011). Her latest work, A Guide to Berlin, was published earlier this year. She has also published two short story collections and much of her work appears widely in translation. Her critical monograph indicates only a small part of her vital and ongoing contribution in the academic world as a Professor at the Writing and Society Research Centre at the University of Western Sydney.

David MaloufDavid Malouf

David Malouf is the author of nine novels, including The Great World (1990), winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Prix Femina Etranger, and Remembering Babylon (1993), winner of the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Among many other honours, he has been awarded the Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the Australia–Asia Literary Award.

Elizabeth Harrow

Event Two

Elizabeth Harrower Writers’ Panel:
Michelle de Kretser, Ivor Indyk and Fiona McFarlane

Facilitated by Brigitta Olubas, UNSW and Elizabeth McMahon, UNSW

Friday 4 December
Io Myers Studio | UNSW Kensington | 6 for 6.30pm


The Harrower writers’ panel will consider the place of Harrower’s writing in the field of Australian literature and mid-century women’s writing. It will explore the dark, strange and tyrannical worlds of Harrower’s novels: the relationships that founder through violent clashes of gender and class, and where struggles for human connection become distorted into merciless games of power. And all this in the quiet suburbs of Newcastle, Sydney and London.

Michelle De KretserMichelle de Kretser

Michelle de Kretser is the author of five novels including The Hamilton Case (2003), winner of the Encore Prize and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and The Lost Dog (2008) and Questions of Travel (2012), both winners of the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards, Christina Stead Prize for Fiction, ALS Gold Medal and Book of the Year. She was also awarded the Miles Franklin Award and Prime Minister’s Literary Awards Fiction Prize for Questions of Travel. Her most recent novel is Springtime: A Ghost Story (2014).

Ivor IndykIvor Indyk

Ivor Indyk is the founding editor and publisher of HEAT magazine and the force behind literary imprint Giramondo Publishing. Since he founded the imprint in 1995, Giramondo has published numerous award-winning contributions to Australian fiction. Indyk is Whitlam Professor in the Writing and Society Research Centre at the University of Western Sydney and his current research is focused on the Australian literature and literary publishing.

McFarlaneFiona McFarlane

Fiona McFarlane’s work has been published in Zoetrope: All-Story, Southerly, Best Australian Stories and The New Yorker. Her highly praised debut novel The Night Guest (2013) was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award.


These panels are part of the symposium Rediscovering Again: Christina Stead / Elizabeth Harrower. Two days of cutting edge research about the writers to open up their fiction to new readings, a new audience and new literary debates.

Find out more about the symposium  |  Register no

GETTING HERE: There is limited parking in the Gate 2, High St area around Io Myers Studio (Map Ref D9) but parking is available in the car park next to NIDA accessed through Day Ave.

How to get to UNSW.

Further Info: cpl@unsw.edu.au or 9385 5684

Although the stellar careers of Australian writers Christina Stead (1902–1983) and Elizabeth Harrower (1928–) were separated by a quarter of a century, there are numerous points of convergence and influence that warrant comparison—not least the long periods during which their work was all but forgotten. Join us to hear this group of outstanding contemporary authors as they engage with the extraordinary works and legacy of these two writers.

It is fifty years since American poet and critic Randall Jarrell wrote his eloquent, career-changing introduction to the 1965 reissue of Christina Stead’s The Man Who Loved Children (1940). Since that time, The Man Who Loved Children has been reclaimed repeatedly as a neglected classic. It now stands as both the lynchpin and lodestar of Chistina Stead’s critical reception.

Similarly, prior to the publication of In Certain Circles in 2014, Elizabeth Harrower’s last novel, The Watch Tower, was published in 1966. Throughout this 38 years of silence, readers have continued to engage with Harrower’s extraordinary novels and the recent publication of In Certain Circles and re-issue of her earlier work invites fresh consideration.

These two public panels convened by Elizabeth McMahon, Fiona Morrison, Brigitta Olubas and Brigid Rooney.

Supported by
Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL)
Copyright Agency Limited (CAL)

Hosted by
UNSW Creative Practice Lab
School of the Arts and Media, UNSW Arts and Social Sciences 


Copyright Agency

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