The Lure Of The Past

Moderator: Kate Mildenhall • Paul Dalgarno and Mirandi Riwoe

4.30 PM – 5.30 PM
Kambri Cultural Centre (ANU)

Two sumptuous new historical novels are anchored in the 1940s. What is it about these wartime years that makes for such rich and resonant fiction? What does the past tell us about our present?

In a Canberra Writers Festival exclusive, readers will be able get their hands on Mirandi Riwoe’s new novel, Sunbirds, weeks before its national release.

This session is supported by the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund


PAUL DALGARNO is the author of four books: And You May Find Yourself (2015); Poly (2020); A Country of Eternal Light (2023); and Prudish Nation (2023).


MIRANDI RIWOE is the author of Sunbirds. Her novel, Stone Sky Gold Mountain, won the ARA Historical Novel Prize and the Queensland Literary Award and was shortlisted for the Stella Prize and longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. Her novella The Fish Girl won Seizure’s Viva la Novella and was shortlisted for the Stella Prize. Her short fiction and novellas can be found in the collection The Burnished Sun.


KATE MILDENHALL’S debut novel, Skylarking, was longlisted for Debut Fiction in The Indie Book Awards 2017 and the 2017 Voss Literary Award, and her bestselling The Mother Fault was longlisted for the 2021 ABIA General Fiction Book of the Year and shortlisted for the 2020 Aurealis Awards. Kate teaches creative writing and co-hosts The First Time podcast – which features conversations with Australian writers. Kate lives in Hurstbridge on Wurundjeri lands, with her partner and two children. The Hummingbird Effect is her third novel.