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Kate Grenville visits ANU

Australian National University welcomes Kate Grenville for an in conversation event with Marion Halligan.

When Kate Grenville’s mother, Nance Russell, died she left behind the fragments of a memoir. This proved the starting point for One Life, the story of a woman whose life spanned a century of tumult and change. In many ways Nance’s story echoes that of many mothers and grandmothers, for whom the spectacular shifts of the twentieth century offered a path to new freedoms and choices. In other ways Nance was exceptional. 

One Life is an act of great imaginative sympathy, a deeply moving homage to her mother by one of Australia’s finest writers. It provides an illuminating window into Australia’s social history, including attitudes to Aborigines, the role of women and the impact of politics and class.

Kate Grenville is one of Australia’s most celebrated writers. Her bestselling novel The Secret River received the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Miles Franklin Literary Award. The Idea of Perfection won the Orange Prize. Grenville’s other novels include Sarah ThornhillThe LieutenantLilian’s StoryDark Places and Joan Makes History.

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