Ashley Kalagian Blunt - How to Be Australian - Book Launch
Time & Location
About The Event
Ashley Kalagian Blunt talks about her new book, How to be Australian, a funny and heartfelt memoir that explores Australian identity and culture through the eyes of a slightly anxious Canadian. A book for everybody, it traverses the realities of adulthood, marriage and how we find our place in the world.
Launching Ashley's book is R.W.R. (Rob) McDonald, author of the incredibly funny debut novel The Nancys. Rob is a Kiwi living in Melbourne with his two daughters and an extended rainbow family including HarryCat and Stevie Nicks the chicken. There's no one better placed to chat with Ashley about how to be an Aussie!
‘I laughed out loud at the sharpness of Kalagian Blunt’s keen observations ... But under the humour are strands of serious research and earnest endeavor.’ - Vicki Laveau-Harvie, author of The Erratics.
‘Kalagian Blunt’s prose sparkles and fizzes with personality in this relentlessly funny memoir about migrant’s dual search for home and love that lasts.’ - Lee Kofman, author of Imperfect.
This conversation will take place on Zoom.
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Meeting ID: 897 4437 6308
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About the Book
When Ashley persuades her new husband Steve to leave snowy Canada and join her for a year Down Under, she looks forward to an easy transition. After all, Australia’s just Canada with more sunshine and strange animals, right?
But they soon discover things aren’t so simple. Steve struggles to settle and Ashley fears he will come to regret both the move and the marriage – especially after she loses her wedding ring on Bondi Beach. Baffled, homesick and increasingly anxious (in a land renowned for ‘no worries’), she is preparing to return to Canada when Steve shockingly announces that he wants to stay in Australia. Forever.
For the sake of her marriage and her happiness, Ashley must find an Australia she can belong to: she decides to travel the country, learn its history, decode its cultural quirks and connect with as many residents as she can meet.
When the couple eventually become Australian citizens, Ashley reflects on both identity and marriage as processes. More than just learning how to be Australian, she has learned how to be – how to compromise, how to navigate her own storms, and how to deal with the emotional grit of life and come out stronger.
A love letter to the baffling, charming place that Ashley now calls home, How to Be Australian is a remarkable memoir that shines a fresh, funny and fascinating light onto the country we think we know.
About the Author
Ashley Kalagain Blunt is the author of My Name Is Revenge, which was shortlisted for the 2019 Woollahra Digital Literary Award and was a finalist in the 2018 Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award. Her writing appears in Griffith Review, Sydney Review of Books, Westerly, The Australian, The Big Issue and Kill Your Darlings.
Ashley is a Moth StorySLAM winner and has appeared at Story Club, the National Young Writers’ Festival, and Sydney Writers’ Festival. She lived and worked in Canada, South Korea, Peru and Mexico before moving to Australia.
About R.W.R. McDonald
R.W.R. (Rob) McDonald is a Kiwi living in Melbourne with his two daughters and an extended rainbow family including HarryCat and Stevie Nicks the chicken. Rob attended Faber Academy's Writing a Novel Stage 1 and Stage 2. His novel The Nancys was Highly Commended for an Unpublished Manuscript in the 2017 Victorian Premier's Literary Awards and published by Allen & Unwin in 2019. It was our Book of the Month on publication too!
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