Books for the Journey

The books in this evolving collection aim at presenting a variety of approaches to what has been named ‘life writing’. Their authors use tools of fiction to write a memoir, or work with ‘nonfictional’ approach to write a novel – either based on a (presumably) true story or on extensive research into social and political issues. Other authors may insert the ‘self’ into their research interest to create a hybrid memoir, while some memoirs are presented as graphic novels or poetry. As in all relevant writing, emotional truth is the force that drives each story.

Clownery / Paul hunter

Clownery / Paul hunter

"In his book “Memoir: An Introduction,” from 2011, the scholar G. Thomas Couser argues that we go to the genre not so much for detail or style as for “wisdom and self-knowledge,” for what the main character, who is always the author, has learned. Sometimes, though,...

No Friend but the Mountains / Behrouz Boochani

No Friend but the Mountains / Behrouz Boochani

"In his astonishing book At the Mind’s Limits: Contemplations by a survivor on Auschwitz and its realities (1980), Jean Améry devotes a chapter to intellectuals in the Nazi camp. An essayist and novelist himself, he focuses on how writers made sense of their...

Go, Went, Gone / Jenny Erpenbeck

Go, Went, Gone / Jenny Erpenbeck

"Jenny Erpenbeck’s magnificent novel “Go, Went, Gone” (New Directions, translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky) is about “the central moral question of our time,” and among its many virtues is that it is not only alive to the suffering of people who are very...

The End of Eddy / Édouard Louis

The End of Eddy / Édouard Louis

"This arresting autobiographical novel pulls no punches; rather, it lands them on the reader as frequently as fists descend on its subject. The Eddy of the title is a child born to below-the-poverty-line parents in an isolated village in rural northern France in 1992....

Past Guest Speakers

September: Leah Kaminsky

Leah Kaminsky, a physician and award-winning writer, is Poetry & Fiction Editor at the Medical Journal of Australia and former Online Editor at Hunger...

October: Lee Kofman

Lee Kofman is the Israeli-Australian author of the acclaimed memoir The Dangerous Bride (Melbourne University Press 2014) and three fiction...

November: Kate Holden

Kate Holden was born in 1972 and went to progressive community schools and the University of Melbourne, where she studied...