Fri 26 Jan
Join award-winning writer and journalist Lucia Osborne-Crowley and author Katherine Brabon, for the launch of Brabon’s novel Body Friend, published by Ultimo Press UK and forthcoming with Bloomsbury North America.
Body Friend interrogates narratives of the body and illness, contrasting social expectations of chronic illness and art’s expression of pain. Through the intertwined stories of three women and set across Melbourne’s pools, parks and hospitals, it uses the repetitive, interior character of illness to shape a narrative that questions our expectations of linearity - in stories and the body.
A woman leaves the hospital after an operation and starts swimming in a pool in Melbourne’s inner suburbs. There she meets Frida, who is uncannily like her in her experience of illness. Soon after, she meets another woman in a local park, Sylvia, who sees her pain and encourages her to rest.
The two new friends seem to be polar opposites: Frida adores the pool and the natural world, Sylvia clings to the protection of interior worlds. What begins as two seemingly simple friendships is challenged by what each woman asks of her, of themselves, and their bodies.
Katherine Brabon is the author of the novels The Memory Artist, The Shut Ins and Body Friend. Her work has received a New South Wales Premier's Literary Award, the Vogel's Literary Award and the David Harold Tribe Award, and nominations for the Voss Prize, the Christina Stead Prize and the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal. She has a Master’s degree from Oxford University and a PhD from Monash University. She lives in Naarm/Melbourne, Australia.
Lucia Osborne-Crowley is a writer and journalist. Her first book, I Choose Elena, was published in 2019. Her second book, My Body Keeps Your Secrets, was published in September 2021 and awarded the Somerset Maugham Prize in 2022. Her forthcoming book, The Lasting Harm, follows the Maxwell trial with a focus on the survivors at the centre of the case. She has appeared as an expert journalist on the Maxwell and Prince Andrew cases on BBC News, Sky News, LBC News and BBC Radio among others. Her analysis appeared in print in The Independent and ABC news. Elsewhere, her news reporting has appeared in the Guardian, The Sunday Times and GQ Magazine and her literary writing has been published in Granta and Meanjin. The Lasting Harm is due to be published in early 2024.