Man Booker Prize-winner Paul Beatty (The Sellout) and award-winning author Roxane Gay (Difficult Women) both use humour to write about the trauma of history. According to The Guardian, The Sellout ‘has a joke-per-line ratio that a comedy writer would kill for, but the humor is nowhere near safe’. Roxane’s Difficult Women is a collection of stories of hardscrabble lives, passionate loves, and quirky and vexed human connection. They talk to Michael Williams about using bleak, provocative humour with purpose. 

Michael Williams (Australian)

Michael Williams

Michael Williams was the director of the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne until March 2020. He worked at the Wheeler Centre since its inception in 2009, when he was hired as the Head of Programming before being appointed as director in September 2011. A sometime Radio National presenter, he remains a regular guest on ABC Radio and TV. Michael has also worked in publishing, as a presenter for Melbourne’s 3RRR (on Breakfasters) and as a member of the Australia Council’s Literature Board, and has written extensively for The Guardian, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian and elsewhere.