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June Sunday Literary Lunch with Monica Tan, Tony Birch & Hannie Rayson

June 16, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 3:30 pm


We are thrilled to present our June literary lunch series, now in its third year.

Join us for an enthralling long lunch with Monica Tan, author of Stranger Country, and Tony Birch, who will be speaking on his new novel, The White Girl. Both will be in-conversation with author and playwright Hannie Rayson.

A three-course gourmet lunch and a copy of one of the books under discussion is included in your ticket price. (The other author’s book will be available at a reduced price.)

Time: 12pm
Date: Sunday 16 June 2019

Venue: Little Feast Restaurant – upstairs function room
85 Great Ocean Rd Aireys Inlet

Tickets: $95.00 p.p.
Available only at Great Escape Books.
Ph: 5289 7052 or drop by the bookshop.

Numbers strictly limited to 60 patrons.
More information at https://www.greatescapebooks.com.au/
Proudly sponsored by the Surf Coast Shire
About Stranger Country

What happens when a 32-year-old first-generation Australian woman decides to chuck in a dream job, pack a sleeping bag and tent, and hit the long, dusty road for six months? Thirty thousand kilometres later, Monica Tan has the answer, and it completely surprises her. Tracks meets Wild in this account of Chinese Australian journalist Monica Tan’s six month odyssey though outback Australia.

“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.”

In mid-2016, Monica left Sydney, unsure of her place in Australia. As a Chinese Australian city slicker, she couldn’t have felt more distant from powerful mythologies like the Digger, the Drover’s Wife and Clancy of the Overflow. And more importantly, Monica wondered, how could she ever feel she truly belonged to a land that has been the spiritual domain of Indigenous Australians for over 60,000 years?

Stranger Country is the riveting account of the six months Monica drove and camped her way through some of Australia’s most beautiful and remote landscapes. She shared meals, beers and conversations with miners, grey nomads, artists, farmers, community workers and small business owners from across the nation: some Aboriginal, some white, some Asian, and even a few who managed to be all three. The result is an enthralling and entertaining celebration of the spirit of adventure, a thoughtful quest for understanding and a unique portrait of Australia and all it means to those who live here.

About Monica Tan

Monica Tan is the former deputy culture editor of Guardian Australia and co-host of the Token podcast. Stranger Country is her first book.

About The White Girl

‘Odette, be sensible. Sissy cannot leave this town.’ Shea threw his hands in the air. ‘Listen to me, please, Odette. It’s not as if your Sissy is a white girl.’

Odette Brown has lived her whole life on the fringes of a small country town. Raising her granddaughter Sissy on her own, Odette has managed to stay under the radar of the welfare authorities who are removing Aboriginal children from their communities. When the menacing Sergeant Lowe arrives in town, determined to fully enforce the law, any freedom that Odette and Sissy enjoy comes under grave threat. Odette must make an impossible choice to protect her family.

In The White Girl, Tony Birch has created memorable characters whose capacity for love and courage are a timely reminder of the endurance of the human spirit.

About Tony Birch

Tony Birch is the author of Ghost River, which won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing and Blood, which was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. He is also the author of Shadowboxing and three short story collections, Father’s Day, The Promise and Common People. In 2017 he was awarded the Patrick White Literary Award. Tony is a frequent contributor to ABC local and national radio and a regular guest at writers’ festivals. He lives in Melbourne and is a Senior Research Fellow at Victoria University.


June 16, 2019
12:00 pm - 3:30 pm
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Great Escape Books
2/ 75 Great Ocean Rd
Aireys Inlet, Victoria 3231 Australia
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(03) 52897052