Rich People's Problems
Stephanie Johnson + Michelle Upton + Rebecca Heath + Claire Christian
Queensland Terrace, slq
#About the event
Duration: 60 minutes
[Gossip Girl voice] From Anna Karenina to The White Lotus, the dysfunctional lives of the rich have aroused pathos, contempt and fascination. These witty novelists discuss the complex appeal of bourgeoise fiction – the mixture of escapism and schadenfreude that draws us to glamorous tales of secrecy and scandal.
Stephanie Johnson MNZM is the author of many novels, several collections of short stories and verse. Her non-fiction book West Island: Five Twentieth Century New Zealanders in Australia was published in 2019. She is a well-regarded critic and the co-founder of the Auckland Writers Festival. In 2022 Stephanie received the Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement (Fiction).
Michelle Upton writes short stories and novels that examine our darkest fears and shine a light on hope and possibility. Born in Birmingham, England, she emigrated to Australia in 2006 and is now proud to call herself Australian. She has a Bachelor (Hons) degree in Literature with Psychology, and before having children, she was a primary school teacher. Michelle has had two short stories longlisted in the Australian Writers' Centre's Furious Fiction competition, and three of her short stories have won honourable mentions in the American Women on Writing competition. Her short story Relentless was shortlisted and published in the 2013 Redlands Redlitzer Anthology, and her debut novel Terms of Inheritance was shortlisted for the HarperCollins Australia 2021 Banjo Prize. She lives in Brisbane with her family.
Rebecca Heath studied science at university, worked in hospitality and teaching, and wrote obsessively whenever she could find the time. She wrote several young adult novels as Beck Nicholas, published in Australia and Germany. She lives in Adelaide, Australia, halfway between the city and the sea with her husband, three children and a much-loved border collie. She spent her childhood summers at a remote beach not unlike where The Summer Party is set. The Summer Party is her debut adult novel.
Claire Christian tells stories: she is a writer, theatre maker and facilitator. Her first novel, Beautiful Mess won the Text Prize in 2016 and was released in 2017. Her second novel, It’s Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake was released in 2020. Both have been published internationally. She has had the great joy of directing Michelle Law’s smash hit comedy Single Asian Female since 2017. She is a proud member of the Mama’s Boys theatre collective whose hip-hop theatrical explosion Brothers Book Club premiered in 2022. Her Plays Lysa and the Freeborn Dames, Talking to Brick Walls, Hedonism’s Second Album and The Landmine is Me are available through Playlab Inc. Her second novel, It’s Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake was released in 2020. Both her novels have been published internationally. Claire’s last novel West Side Honey was released in April 2023.