In conjunction with the Brisbane Writers Festival, UQ Library presents:
Drusilla Modjeska, author of The Mountain, in conversation with Jon Doust, author of To the Highlands, on issues relating to Papua New Guinea and national/individual identity.
Discussion chaired by Professor Joanne Tompkins*.
About the Authors
Drusilla Modjeska was born in London in 1946. At twenty, she married an anthropologist, and together they left for Papua New Guinea. Her years there, including time as a student at the University of Papua New Guinea, laid the basis for her enduring interest in the country. While her new novel, The Mountain, is not autobiographical, it does draw on her experiences as one of the first outsiders to visit the Omie of Papua New Guinea, the tribe on whom the novel's fictional mountain people are based. Drusilla Modjeska obtained her PhD in 1979 from the University of New South Wales with a thesis entitled "Women Writers: A Study in Australian Cultural History, 1920-1939." This was revised and expanded for the influential book Exiles at Home: Australian Women Writers 1925-1945 (1981), establishing Modjeska as a prominent voice in Australian literary studies. She has since written a number of award-winning biographical and creative works including Poppy (1990), The Orchard (1994), Stravinsky's Lunch (1999), and Timepieces (2002).
Jon Doust comes from Western Australia, and has worked as a comedian, radio personality, story teller, political activist and writer. He wrote two children's books before his first adult novel, Boy on a Wire (2010) was longlisted for the Miles Franklin award. Its hero, Jack Muir, attends an exclusive boy's boarding school in 1960s Perth. Doust's second novel, To the Highlands, takes up Jack Muir's story as he leaves school for a job in Papua New Guinea with the Colonial Bank of Australia. Planned as the second novel in a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age trilogy, To the Highlands explores issues of white colonialism amid the emerging political independence of Papua New Guinea, and makes a compelling, unsettling and confronting sequel to Boy on a Wire.
*Professor Joanne Tompkins is Head of the School of English, Media Studies and Art History at The University of Queensland. Her research interests include post-colonial, multicultural, and intercultural drama and theory.
When: Friday, 7 September 2012 3:00pm - 4:00pm, followed by afternoon tea
and book signing
Where: Library Conference Room, Level 1 Duhig Building (Building 2), UQ St Lucia Campus
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday 5 September 2012
Text and image of Jon Doust sourced from the Brisbane Writers Festival website; Image of Drusilla Modjeska and her book The Mountain sourced from Random House; Image of Jon Doust's book, To the Highlands, sourced from Freemantle Press.