top of page

Thu, 09 Mar


Better Read Than Dead

Funny Ethnics Launch with Shirley Le

Join Shirley Le as she celebrates the release her book, Funny Ethnics. Shirley will be in conversation with Benjamin Law.

Registration is closed
See other events
Funny Ethnics Launch with Shirley Le
Funny Ethnics Launch with Shirley Le

Time & Location

09 Mar 2023, 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

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


About The Event

I looked at the streets of Yagoona through eyes stinging with melted Maybelline liquid liner. Yagoona looked back at me, the wannabe hipster who dreamed of moving to a share house in the inner west, and cackled. 

Funny Ethnics catapults readers into the sprawling city-within-a-city that is Western Sydney and the world of Sylvia Nguyen: only child of Vietnamese refugee parents, unexceptional student, exceptional self-doubter. It's a place where migrants from across the world converge, and identity is a slippery, ever-shifting beast. Jumping through snapshots of Sylvia's life - from childhood to something resembling adulthood - this novel is about square pegs and round holes, those who belong and those on the fringes. It's a funhouse mirror held up to modern Australia revealing suburban fortune tellers, train-carriage preachers, crumbling friendships and bad stand-up comedy. In Funny Ethnics, Shirley Le uses a coming-of-age tale to reveal a side of Australia so ordinary that it's entirely bizarre.

Shirley Le is a Vietnamese-Australian writer from Yagoona and Creative Producer at Sweatshop Literacy Movement. Her writing has been published in Overland, The Guardian, SBS Voices, Meanjin and several Sweatshop anthologies. She also co-wrote the play Sex, Drugs and Pork Rolls, presented by UTP in partnership with Sweatshop. Funny Ethnics (Affirm Press, 2023) is her first novel.

Benjamin Law is an Australian writer and broadcaster. He’s the author of The Family Law (2010), Gaysia (2012), the Quarterly Essay Moral Panic 101 (2017) and editor of Growing Up Queer in Australia (2019). Benjamin is also an AWGIE Award-winning screenwriter who created and co-wrote three seasons of the award-winning TV series The Family Law (SBS/Hulu/Comedy Central Asia), wrote the sold-out mainstage play Torch the Place (Melbourne Theatre Company, 2020), and is co-executive producer, co-creator and co-writer on the forthcoming Netflix comedy-drama Wellmania. He has a PhD in creative writing and cultural studies from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Every week, Benjamin co-hosts ABC Radio National’s weekly national pop culture show Stop Everything and interviews public figures for Good Weekend. He hosted ABC TV’s two-part feature documentary on Chinese-Australian history Waltzing the Dragon and has also written for over 50 publications in Australia and beyond— including the Monthly, frankie, Guardian, Monocle and Australian Financial Review—and is a literary scout for Hachette Australia. Benjamin works and lives on Gadigal Country, part of the Eora Nation (Sydney).


  • Event Ticket

    Sold Out
  • Event + Book

    This ticket includes a copy of Funny Ethnics

    Sold Out
  • Zoom Ticket

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

    Sale ended
  • Zoom + Book

    This is your Zoom ticket. It includes a copy of the book, which we will post out to you, postage included in price. Please note we do not ship internationally.

    Sale ended



Share Event

bottom of page