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Fri, 29 Apr


Better Read Than Dead

Author talk with Nadia Wheatley

Join Nadia Wheatley in conversation with Robyn Ravlich as they discuss the release of Sneaky Little Revolutions: Selected essays of Charmian Clift.

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Author talk with Nadia Wheatley
Author talk with Nadia Wheatley

Time & Location

29 Apr 2022, 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Better Read Than Dead, 265 King St, Newtown NSW 2042, Australia


About The Event

‘I know it’s a daring suggestion, but I’ll make it anyway.’

Charmian Clift was a writer ahead of her time. Lyrical and fearless, her essays seamlessly blended the personal and the political.

In 1964, Charmian Clift and her husband George Johnston returned to Australia after living and writing for many years in the cosmopolitan community of artists on the Greek island of Hydra. Back in Sydney, Clift found her opinions were far more progressive than those of many of her fellow Australians.

This new edition of Charmian Clift’s essays, selected and introduced by her biographer Nadia Wheatley, is drawn from the weekly newspaper column Clift wrote through the turbulent and transformative years of the 1960s. In these ‘sneaky little revolutions’, as Clift once called them, she supported the rights of women and migrants, called for social justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, opposed conscription and the war in Vietnam, acknowledged Australia’s role in the Asia-Pacific, fought censorship, called for a local film industry — and much more. In doing so, she set a new benchmark for the form of the essay in Australian literature.

About Nadia

Nadia Wheatley is the author of The Life and Myth of Charmian Clift. Described by critic Peter Craven as ‘one of the greatest Australian biographies,’ this was the Age Non-Fiction Book of the Year, 2001, and won the NSW Premier’s Australian History Prize (2002). After twenty years it remains the classic source of information about this transformational Australian writer who continues to find new readers and new acclaim. In Sneaky Little Revolutions, Nadia has selected eighty of the essays that Charmian Clift wrote on a weekly basis through the years 1964 to 1969, and has provided a new introduction that places Clift and her ‘pieces’ in the context of her time.

Nadia Wheatley’s other works include Radicals — Remembering the Sixties, co-written with Meredith Burgmann, and the award-winning memoir Her Mother’s Daughter. She has recently returned to live in her heartland of Newtown/Enmore, where a number of her earliest books are set.

About Robyn

Robyn Ravlich is a writer and award-winning broadcaster. She is the author of Skywriting: making radiowaves, a personal reflection on radio and Australian cultural history during her career as a celebrated, creative broadcaster on ABC Radio National and Classic FM. Commencing as a young poet in the 1970s, she was later recognised with international and national awards for her distinctive, poetic approach to radio feature productions for The Listening Room, Into the Music, Earshot, and Poetica. Her vivid radio portraits have included Charmian Clift (with biographer Nadia Wheatley), Vicki Viidikas, Georgia O’Keeffe, Robert Manne, and Mr Eternity.


  • Event Ticket

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  • Ticket + Book

    Ticket includes a copy of Sneaky Little Revolutions.

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  • Zoom Ticket

    If you are unable to join us in person, you can also join us online.

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  • Zoom + Book

    This is our Zoom ticket with a copy of the book, which we will post out to you.

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