Do Oysters Get Bored? A curious life

Rozanna Lilley In Conversation with Karen Middleton

Saturday 25 August 2018
9.30AM – 10.30AM
Peninsula Room
National Museum of Australia

A baby cries; a mother exits, leaving her family behind; a child finally begins to talk; a father stops breathing. In her new book, Do Oysters Get Bored? A Curious Life, Rozanna Lilley writes about raising a son with autism and her relationship with her father, the poet Merv Lilley. She also writes candidly and passionately about her mother, the celebrated playwright Dorothy Hewett, who remains an enduring presence. Join Chief Political Correspondent for The Saturday Paper and successful author, Karen Middleton as she explores the poetry and prose of a woman reflecting on her child's special journey and the effect of her own upbringing on her life now in middle age.

Rozanna Lilley is an author and an academic. Her poetry and essays have been published in national newspapers and literary journals, as well as Best Australian Essays in both 2013 and 2014 and Best Australian Poems in 2015. Rozanna’s most recent book is a hybrid memoir, Do Oysters Get Bored? A Curious Life. Through personal essays and poetry, the book explores the intersections between her own childhood and adolescent experiences and perceptions and those of her highly imaginative son, Oscar, diagnosed with autism. A shimmering examination of an eccentric family, Oysters addresses the complexities of care and the toll of grief in middle-age as the author deals with the decline and death of her parents. Fiona Capps review highlighted Rozanna’s ‘well-wrought, unsentimental essays’ documenting ‘life with a son on the autism spectrum, and the quirks and consequences of being the daughter of larger-than-life writers Dorothy Hewett and Merv Lilley’.

Karen Middleton is Chief Political Correspondent for The  Saturday  Paper. Previously Chief Political Correspondent for SBS Television, Karen has worked in the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery since 1989 and served as its president for four years. Karen is an experienced television, radio and newspaper commentator, appearing regularly on ABC TV’s political talk show  Insiders.  She is a freelance contributor to ABC radio, Monocle 24 Radio UK and Radio New Zealand and is based in Canberra.