EVENT VIDEO: On Tuesday 4 December, the AIIA (NSW) hosted Frank Moorhouse, one of Australia’ most acclaimed writers, with a growing international reputation. During his talk, Frank discussed his recently concluded League of Nations fiction trilogy – the ‘Edith novels’- in which he traces the life of a young woman ‘Edith’ who enters the world of diplomacy in the 1920s through to her involvement in the newly formed International Atomic Energy Agency after World War II. Edith has ambitions to become Australia’s first female ambassador, but while she waits for a Call from On High, she finds herself caught up in the planning of the national capital Canberra and the dream that it should be ‘a city like no other’. (The recently published third book in the series Cold Light is winner of the Queensland Literary Award and was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award and the Barbara Jeffery’s Prize.)
Frank was joined in conversation by journalist Catharine Lumby. Lumby and Moorhouse discussed Frank’s inspiration for the book and his interest in international machinations.
Frank Moorhouse started his writing career as an editor of small-town newspapers. He has written fiction, non fiction, screenplays and essays and edited many collections of writing. Grand Days, the first novel in The Edith Trilogy, won the SA Premier’s Award for Fiction. Dark Palace won the Miles Franklin Literary Award and was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Award, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award and the Age Book of the Year Award. Frank has undertaken numerous fellowships and his work has been translated into several languages. He was made a member of the Order of Australia for services to literature in 1985 and was awarded an honorary doctorate from Griffith University in 1997.
Catharine Lumby is the Director of the Journalism and Media Research at the University of NSW. She is the author of seven books and numerous book chapters and journal articles. Professor Lumby is a well-known public commentator who has worked as a news reporter, feature writer and columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald and the Bulletin magazine. She sits on the Education and Welfare Committee and the Research Committee of the National Rugby League, advising them on gender issues. She is also a member of the Advertising Standards Board. She has been awarded five Australian Research Council grants and is a member of the ARC Cultural Research Network. Her latest book is The Porn Report (Melbourne University Publishing, 2008) co-authored with Alan McKee and Kath Albury.