The 2016 ASAL Patron’s Lecture | My Brilliant Career and the Wobble of Fiction: a Journey along the Boundary between Autobiography and Fiction

Summary

Maggie Mackellar

Start Date

13th Dec 2016 7:00pm

End Date

13th Dec 2016 9:00pm

The Association for the Study of Australian Literature, Copyright Australia, and
The University of Tasmania present

The 2016 ASAL Patron’s Lecture

“My Brilliant Career and the Wobble of Fiction: a Journey along the Boundary between Autobiography and Fiction”

Maggie Mackellar

7 pm Tuesday 13th December 2016

Academy Gallery, Inveresk Campus, University of Tasmania

Maggie Mackellar

In 1902 Miles Franklin's first and most famous novel was published. My Brilliant Career? was a fictional autobiography and it was hard to say whether the book was more notorious because its author was a woman, whose heroine rejected a good marriage, or because many of the characters were uncomfortably recognizable for Miles' family and acquaintances. Miles scoffed at those unsophisticated readers who insisted her novel was not fiction. It would seem over one hundred years later in the age of the publishing success of Ferrante, Knausgaurd, Garner and Solstad not much has changed. Readers are still eager for the immediacy of the personal story, and writers continue to mine their personal histories for the seeds of larger stories. Having written both history and memoir, Maggie MacKellar is interested in the arbitrary boundaries between fiction and nonfiction. More broadly she asks what can fiction do that nonfiction can't, and why, in this age of multiple truths are such definitions even necessary?

Maggie MacKellar lives on the east coast of Tasmania. She is the award winning author of two books on the history of settlement in Australia and Canada, Core of my Heart, My Country and Strangers in a Foreign Land, and two bestselling memoirs, When it Rains and How to Get There. Her essays have been published in Island, Meanjin, The Saturday Paper, The Good Weekend, and Best Australian Essays. Her first novel will be published by Random House in 2017.

Mackellar ASAL Lecture Poster