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Mon, 24 July


Better Read Than Dead

The Shape of Dust: Lamisse Hamouda in-conversation with Sara M. Saleh

Join Lamisse Hamouda to celebrate the release of The Shape of Dust. Lamisse will be in conversation with Sara M. Saleh

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The Shape of Dust: Lamisse Hamouda in-conversation with Sara M. Saleh
The Shape of Dust: Lamisse Hamouda in-conversation with Sara M. Saleh

Time & Location

24 July 2023, 6:30 pm – 7:40 pm

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


About The Event

An incredible true tale of overcoming injustice and ode to the fierce love within one family, The Shape of Dust is a haunting appraisal of the way Australia treats its citizens, both at home and abroad. In 2018, on his way to a family holiday in Cairo, Australian-Egyptian citizen Hazem Hamouda disappears without warning, going missing somewhere between landing and customs. His eldest daughter, Lamisse, has recently moved to Egypt armed with a scholarship to the American University of Cairo, and overnight her world is turned upside down. With little Arabic and even less legal knowledge, she finds out her father has been arbitrarily arrested. Going up against the notorious Egyptian prison system, Lamisse discovers that the Australian embassy provides shockingly little support to dual citizens arrested abroad. Shouldering the responsibility of her father’s welfare, Lamisse learns to navigate both deeply flawed systems, and freeing Hazem involves a reckoning with the two countries she’s called home – coming to terms with the prejudice and racism of the country she grew up in and the corruption in the country she was hoping to reconnect with. Told with exquisite intimacy by both father and daughter, The Shape of Dust is an Australian story unlike any other, and the striking debut of a writer of incredible nuance, insight and talent.

Lamisse Hamouda (she/her) is an Egyptian-Australia writer, theatre-maker and youth worker who lives on the unceded lands of Meanjin (Brisbane). Her writings have been published in various publications in Europe and Australia, including Arts of the Working Class, Diversity Arts Australia, SBS and Jdeed Magazine, and her poetry was included in the anthology, Arab, Australia, Other: Stories on Race and Identity.

Sara M. Saleh is a writer, human rights lawyer, organiser, and the daughter of migrants from Palestine, Egypt, and Lebanon. Her poems, short stories, and essays have been published nationally and internationally in English and Arabic and she has performed in countless classrooms, community events and festivals across the country. She is co-editor of the groundbreaking 2019 anthology Arab, Australian, Other: Stories on Race and Identity. Sara made history as the first poet to win both the Australian Book Review’s 2021 Peter Porter Poetry Prize and the Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize 2020. Her debut novel Songs for the Dead and the Living (Affirm Press) and a full-length poetry collection, The Flirtation of Girls (UQP), are both out this year. Sara is based on Bidjigal land with her partner and their cats, Cappy & Lola.


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  • Event + Book

    Free ticket + a copy of The Shape of Dust

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