I live and write in Melbourne.
I am currently working on two major projects, both intrinsically linked to India. One is a nonfiction book about cultural exchanges between Australia and India. The other is a fiction project – the creative part of my PhD – about various forms of travel by Australian tourists in India.
The ideals that are attached to foreign places and the complexities of travel and displacement have been the main recurring themes throughout my writing practice. In my fiction and essays, I scrutinise travel modes that are defined by western conventions and expectations, whether a search or denial of the exotic, and/or a false nomadic state that is mediated by communications technologies.
My memoir, Dora B: A Memoir of My Mother was first published in 2005 by Penguin Australia, and in 2006 by Bloomsbury UK, and then it was published in Germany and France. My short fiction and essays have appeared, in Strange, Heat Meanjin and Island Magazine, among others.
In 2004 I completed an MA (research) in creative writing at The University of Melbourne, where I have been teaching and tutoring over a period of four years, and where I have recently been awarded a PhD in creative writing.
I was the recipient of a Varuna Writing Fellowship 2002, Varuna mentorship residency 2003, Rosebank Fellowship 2009, Australia Council for the Arts 2010, Felix Meyer Scholarship 2012.
I have been mentoring emerging writers since 2014 at Writers Victoria
Teaching/ lecturing Experience
Creative Writing MA coursework, school of Culture & Communications, The University of Melbourne, subject: Life Writing 2009, 2010.
MA creative writing thesis, nonfiction project, 2010
Creative Writing course, school of Culture & Communications, The University of Melbourne. Undergraduate subjects: Autofictions 2007. Diaries/Journal & Autobiographies, 2008. Writing Through Character, 2009.
Breath subject: Going Places, Travelling Smarter, 2015
Advanced Skills two-days seminar for sessional teachers, Centre for the Study of Higher Education (CHSE) The University of Melbourne October 2008
Innovative Teaching Forum, one-day seminar, The University of Melbourne, November 2008
Melbourne Teaching certificate, CHSE, The University of Melbourne, 2010
Non-Fiction Masterclass with Robin Hemley, visiting scholar from the University of Iowa Writing Program, an initiative of Varuna Writers Centre. December 2009
Conferences & festivals:
Melbourne Writers’ Festival, 2005, Jewish Book Week, London 2006. Figurations of Knowledge, SLSA (Society for Literature, Science and Art) – 5th European Meeting, Berlin June 2008. Borders & Crossings, international bi-lingual conference on travel writing the University of Melbourne July 2008. Australian Festival of Travel Writing The Wheeler Centre, November 2010. Futures, AntiThesis symposium, The University of Melbourne, July 2010. Changing The Climate: Utopia, Dystopia and Catastrophe, Monash University, Melbourne, July 2010. Conference: Travel ideals: engaging with spaces of mobility – 2012.
Programming and Marketing assistant:
Australian Festival of Travel Writing, 2013. http://www.aftw.com.au/
Australian Festival of Travel Writing, November 2010
Conference: Travel ideals: engaging with spaces of mobility – 2012
I am a ‘member in the party of utopia’ to quote Fredric Jameson. Questing for a better world – if not the ideal one – led me, paradoxically, deep into the dark zone of dystopia. In my dissertation, I am looking at acceleration and deceleration as textual expressions in Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road, and Alfonso Cuarón’s film Children of Men, while reading the theory of French philosopher Paul Virilio, AKA The Priest of Speed.
I have read (or re-read) a litany of dystopias while writing my thesis. Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We (1921) remains one of my all times favourite novels: classified as ‘anti-utopian’ text, it preceded and inspired George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, or as Paul Owen argues on The Guardian Books Blog, We was the template that Orwell pinched to write his classic dystopia.
In my dissertation I am attempting to analyse how, in times of accelerated modernity, literature is developing new hybrid forms as a means of expressing current anxieties and hopes about the future of humanity. The creative part of the PhD wrote itself towards an ambiguous, fictional future.