Nothing ever lasts

A more complete Australian story

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  • Published 20240206
  • ISBN: 978-1-922212-92-4
  • Extent: 203pp
  • Paperback, ePub, PDF, Kindle compatible

IT WAS MORE than a decade ago now, but I still have vivid memories of my first Sydney Writers’ Festival. I was in my twenties, and I’d arrived in Sydney as a wide-eyed debut author from the faraway exotic lands of…Queensland. And I was overwhelmed with gratitude, the kind of gratitude every first-time author feels at such an event: I was grateful to be published, grateful to be in the flashy capital of Sydney, and grateful to be programmed out of the hundreds of writers they could have picked instead. 

That kind of gratitude is amplified when you’re in the minority. I understood that Sydney Writers’ Festival was for Important Authors, and if you’d asked me what an Important Author looked like at the time, I would’ve summoned a Franzen or a Eugenides, a Winton or a Flanagan – all iconic straight white men who I worshipped. But the festival organisers had picked me – some random Asian gay who grew up in the suburbs of the Sunshine Coast. Strolling in the sunshine by the wharves in a synthetic suit jacket, taking in the sun and salt air among all these relaxed white people who cared about books, it felt like I had made it. 

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