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Last night: Oz Lit, refugees and other matters

27 Jul

Sunday dinner rather than Sunday lunch at M’s yesterday.

There were in fact three guests of honour. Nicholas Jose I mentioned here. Yes, we did talk about the new Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature. No, I can’t say what was said because any detail is embargoed until the official launch later this week, but I can tell you it is big (around 1,500 pages) and anyone interested in Australian Literature will want one. There may be some surprises.

The second guest was Claire Roberts.

Claire Roberts is Senior Curator Asian Arts and Design, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney and a Research Fellow with Geremie Barmé’s Australian Research Council Federation Fellowship project at The Australian National University…

Claire is a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University for 2009-10.

She has a Master of Arts in Chinese language and art history from the University of Melbourne and a PhD in Chinese history from The Australian National University.

Nick and Claire are both about to go to Harvard for a year. That is why M had the gathering.

The third guest I shall call M2. He works in Thailand with refugees but may soon be going to Africa or the USA. He was briefly in Australia because of family matters. He is an old friend of M, so M took the opportunity for us to catch up. In one of those small world moments I discovered he met my ex-student Evan Ruth in Peshawar in 2001.

Also there was William Yang. I was interested to hear that William is currently reading Anthony Venn-Brown’s autobiography. He is really impressed with it, as was I.

There were several other friends there, and of course Sirdan.

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