Acclaimed author Sophie Cunningham discusses her latest novel This Devastating Fever, a complex, darkly funny and deeply moving exploration of what it’s like to live through a time that feels like the end of days, and how we can find comfort and answers in the past. Shortlisted for the 2023 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, This Devastating Fever is arguably Sophie’s most important book to date; no small claim for an author of nine novels and a Member of the Order of Australia for her contributions to literature. Sophie appears in conversation with Ashley Hay.

Sophie Cunningham (Australian)

Sophie Cunningham

Sophie Cunningham is the author of nine books, including the novel This Devastating Fever and the essay collection City of Trees. She is also a teacher, mentor, climate change activist and every day she posts an image of a tree on her Instagram @sophtreeofday. A Member of the Order of Australia for her contributions to literature, Sophie is the Chair of the Australian Society of Authors and an executive director of the Copyright Agency.

Ashley Hay (Australian)

Ashley Hay

Ashley Hay is an award-winning novelist, essayist and former editor of the Griffith Review. Her novels include The Railwayman's Wife and A Hundred Small Lessons. A new edition of her non-fiction narrative, Gum: The Story of Eucalypts and Their Champions, was published in 2021.