Every few years, another scientific study proves that reading literary fiction enhances the empathy and social skills of readers. Authors discuss how complex characters and nuanced narratives allow readers to empathise with those seemingly very different to themselves. Anuk Arudpragasam (The Story of a Brief Marriage), Michelle Cahill (Letter to Pessoa), bestselling author Margo Lanagan (Swarm) and Graeme Simsion (The Best of Adam Sharp) talk with Grace Menary-Winefield about writing empathy, and how authors can help us to understand the minds of others.

Graeme Simsion (Australian)

Graeme Simsion

At the age of fifty, Graeme Simsion enrolled in a course in screenwriting at RMIT. It took him five years to work out that most movies were adaptations of bestselling novels. So he reverse-adapted his screenplay as a novel. The Rosie Project was ABIA book of the year in 2014. He followed with three more international bestsellers: The Rosie Effect, The Best of Adam Sharp and Two Steps Forward (with Anne Buist). His latest book is The Rosie Result.