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Statewide book club as University teams up with Tasmania Reads

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Readers from across Tasmania will have the chance to come together for a statewide book club as the University teams up with Tasmania Reads.

Book club meetings will take place in-person and online in July to discuss alumnus Robbie Arnott’s novel Limberlost. The program will then wrap up with the author taking part in an in-conversation event to discuss his award-winning work.

The University of Tasmania Library and College of Arts, Law and Education have partnered with Libraries Tasmania to present the special program.

“Tasmania Reads is a fantastic way to bring people together to enjoy books and to promote reading,” Head of English Dr Emmett Stinson said.

“The University has jumped at the opportunity to be part of this program and to make it available to anyone in the state.”

Participants can sign up for two book club sessions, online or face-to-face, to be held during the July school holidays.

Robbie Arnott will then be part of in an in-conversation event from The Hedberg in Hobart on July 26. The discussion will also be available to view at the new University library at Inveresk or at home via Zoom.

“It’s an absolute thrill to have Robbie agree to talk about his book," Dr Stinson said. "He wrote much of Limberlost as the inaugural Hedberg Writer-in-Residence and the plaudits he is receiving for it are testament to the book’s quality and appeal.”

Limberlost was this month one of 11 books longlisted for Australia’s most prestigious literary prize, the Miles Franklin Award. It had earlier been named The Age Fiction Book of the Year.

It is the third novel from Arnott, who completed a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Business at the University in 2012. His debut, Flames, won a Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Novelist gong and a Tasmanian Premier’s Literary Prize. His second novel, The Rain Heron, also won The Age Book of the Year and was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin.

Limberlost is based on Arnott’s grandfather’s life and tells the story of teenager Ned on his family’s Tasmanian orchard during World War II.

Full details and registrations for the University of Tasmania Book Club are available here.