In a headline Festival event, an all-star line-up of women read and perform unflinching reflections about the body in all its complexities and intricacies. They will mediate on pain, illness, addiction, prejudice, trauma and myths, while weaving in aspects of recovery, self-determination, catharsis and celebration. Featuring Siri Hustvedt (Memories of the Future), Gabrielle Jackson (Pain and Prejudice), Leslie Jamison (Make It Scream, Make It Burn), Gayle Kennedy (Growing Up Disabled in Australia), Rita Therese (Come), and writer and podcaster Liz Duck-Chong. Hosted by Jan Fran.

Siri Hustvedt is supported by Rosie Williams and John Grill AO.

Gayle Kennedy (Australian)

Gayle Kennedy

Gayle was Indigenous Editor/Writer at Streetwize Comics from 1995 to 1998. Her poetry collection Koori Girl Goes Shoppin was shortlisted for the David Unaipon Award, an award Gayle won in 2006 with Me, Antman & Fleabag. It was shortlisted for a Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, Deadly Award and commended for the Kate Challis RAKA Award. Gayle’s published 11 novels between 2011 and 2014. Gayle’s presented at writers festivals, NAIDOC events, and nationally and internationally on her experience with polio and disability in general. Gayle’s work has been published in Puffin, Currency, Ora Nui, Edinburgh Review anthologies, Southerly Magazine and Verity La, amongst others.

Siri Hustvedt (International)

Siri Hustvedt

Siri Hustvedt is the author of a book of poetry, six essay collections, a work of non-fiction and seven novels, including The Blazing World and Memories of the Future. She has a PhD from Columbia University in English Literature and is a lecturer in psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College. The Blazing World was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won The Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction. Siri has been awarded the Gabarron International Award for Thought and Humanities, the Prix Européen de L’essai Charles Veillon from the Fondation Charles Veillon, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature, and the Princess of Asturias Award for Literature in Spain. Her work has been translated into more than 30 languages. Siri lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Rita Therese (Australian)

Rita Therese

Rita Therese is a writer and sex worker from Melbourne and the author of Come: A Memoir. She began her writing career when she joined the sex industry at 18. She is also the author of a series of zines chronicling her journey as a sex worker.

Leslie Jamison (International)

Leslie Jamison

Leslie Jamison is the New York Times bestselling author of The Recovering, a critical memoir, two essay collections (The Empathy Exams and Make It Scream, Make It Burn) and a novel (The Gin Closet). She is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and directs the graduate non-fiction program at Columbia University.

Gabrielle Jackson (Australian)

Gabrielle Jackson

Gabrielle Jackson is the author of Pain and Prejudice: A call to arms for women and their bodies. She is an Associate News Editor for Guardian Australia and was previously opinion editor there. She has worked as a journalist and writer in Australia, the UK and USA. She won the 2016 National Medicinewise Award for excellence in health reporting for her work on endometriosis.

Liz Duck-Chong (Australian)

Liz Duck-Chong

Liz Duck-Chong is a writer, health researcher and filmmaker who works primarily in LGBTQIA+ sexual health and education. Her work focuses on uplifting and celebrating the lives and work of the wider trans and gender diverse community, and telling the stories less told. She co-hosts wholesome queer sex ed show @letsdoitpodcast.

Jan Fran (Australian)

Jan Fran

Jan Fran is an Australian Walkley Award–winning journalist and social commentator. She is the writer and creator of the viral internet opinion segment The Frant and is also known for her work on The Feed on SBSVICELAND, The Project on Network Ten and the ABC podcast, The Pineapple Project. Jan Fran has shot and produced documentaries from all over the world and appears regularly on Australian television as a social commentator. She is an ambassador for Plan International Australia where she advocates for women and girls. Her strong reporting on women’s issues earned her a 2018 Walkley nomination for Women’s Leadership in Media. Her memoir Of Middle Eastern Appearance will be published in 2021.