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Mon, 11 Sept


Better Read Than Dead

Sunbirds: Mirandi Riwoe in-conversation with Benjamin Law

Join us with Mirandi Riwoe to celebrate the release of Sunbirds. Mirandi will be in conversation with Benjamin Law.

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Sunbirds: Mirandi Riwoe in-conversation with Benjamin Law
Sunbirds: Mirandi Riwoe in-conversation with Benjamin Law

Time & Location

11 Sept 2023, 6:30 pm – 7:50 pm

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


About The Event

Shortly before the Japanese invade, the van Hoorn family throws their famous Sinterklaas party at their tea plantation. One of their guests, Mattijs, a Dutch pilot, hopes to forge a future in the Dutch East Indies, possibly with the family's daughter, Anna, but she is torn between her dreams of Holland and her desire to belong.

Meanwhile the housekeeper, Diah, keenly observes the goings-on around the plantation, wondering how much to tell her freedom-fighter brother. When the Japanese forces finally arrive on Java's doorstep, they all have to make decisions that will affect the rest of their lives, especially those who must evacuate to Australia.

Sunbirds depicts the intricate web of identities and loyalties created by war and imperialism, and the heartbreaking compromises that so often ensue.

Mirandi Riwoe is the author of Stone Sky Gold Mountain, which won the 2020 Queensland Literary Award – Fiction Book Award and the inaugural ARA Historical Novel Prize, and was shortlisted for the 2021 Stella Prize and longlisted for the 2021 Miles Franklin Literary Award. Her short story collection, The Burnished Sun, includes the novella, The Fish Girl, which won Seizure Viva la Novella and was shortlisted for the Stella Prize. Her work has appeared in Best Australian Stories, Meanjin, Review of Australian Fiction, Griffith Review and Best Summer Stories. Mirandi has a PhD in Creative Writing and Literary Studies and lives in Brisbane. 

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 acclaimed 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

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  • Event + Book

    A discounted ticket and copy of Sunbirds (RRP $32.99)

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