“As soon as I started reading Jessie Tu’s A Lonely Girl is a Dangerous Thing, it was like a drug rush. I experienced what all of us who love reading desire: to hear a voice – bold and coherent – that we have not heard before. I was elated.” – Christos Tsiolkas, Damascus

In this new series of events from this year's Festival, some of your most beloved writers interviewed the author of their favourite Australian debut from the last year. They may be your favourite writers, but they’re also some of our country’s most insightful and incisive readers – and these sessions revealed what they think makes a story extraordinary. Providing keen insights into the books they’re most excited about and the writers they’re tipping as new talents to watch, enjoy this first episode from a special series of conversations between the authors you already love and the new writers they love.

Beloved author Christos Tsiolkas speaks with Jessie Tu about her debut novel, A Lonely Girl is a Dangerous Thing, a story of female desire and the consequences of wanting too much and never getting it. Enjoy this wide-ranging conversation reflecting on respecting the ones who came before, a shared love of American fiction, writing about anger and the craft of storytelling. 

Jessie Tu (Australian)

Jessie Tu

Jessie Tu trained as a classical violinist for more than 15 years. She is the emerging book critic at The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, and a journalist and cultural editor at Women's Agenda. Her work has been published in The Guardian, L.A Review of Books and South China Morning Post. Jessie has won several poetry and writing awards and her first book of poetry, You Should Have Told Me We Have Nothing Left was released in 2018. A Lonely Girl is a Dangerous Thing is her first novel.

Christos Tsiolkas (Australian)

Christos Tsiolkas

Christos Tsiolkas is the author of six novels, including Dead Europe, Loaded and Barracuda. His novel The Slap won Overall Best Book in the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 2009, was shortlisted for the 2009 Miles Franklin Literary Award, longlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize, won the Australian Literary Society Gold Medal, and was announced as the 2009 Australian Booksellers Association and Australian Book Industry Awards Books of the Year. Many of his books have been adapted for film, TV and for the stage. Christos is also a playwright, essayist and film critic for The Saturday Paper. His latest novel is Damascus.