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Can Historians Write Fiction?

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What happens when historians take the leap from factual history writing to fiction? Do the skills of an historian help or hinder the imagination of an historical novelist?  Can we be confident where fact ends and fiction begins?

This event is the Australian launch of the novel The Searcher by ANU historian Tessa Morris-Suzuki (written under the pen name T J Alexander and published by Robert Hale Books). Though her academic research mostly focuses on Asia, her novel is set in early 19th century London and is loosely based on a true crime. She will be in conversation with another ANU historian, Anthony Reid, author and editor of many books on Southeast Asia, who has also recently made the leap into fiction under the (slightly) different name Tony Reid. His novel Mataram: A Novel of Love, Faith and Power in Early Java (Monsoon Books, UK) takes the reader into the world of 17th century Java, which has also been a focus of his historical research.

Tickets: $15 (includes a complimentary glass of wine or juice)

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Earlier Event: July 14
Robert Macklin - Castaway
Later Event: August 11
Nigel Featherstone - Bodies of Men