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Biographer Gabriella Kelly-Davies chats with biographers across the world about the multiplicity of choices they make while researching, writing and publishing life stories.

In each episode she explores elements of narrative strategy such as structure, use of fiction techniques, facts and truth, beginnings and endings and to what extent the writer interpreted the evidence rather than providing clues and leaving it to readers to do the interpreting themselves.

She also asks writers how they researched their books; how they balanced a subject’s public, personal and inner lives; and ethical issues such as privacy and revealing secrets.

Gabriella Kelly-Davies

Ryan Cropp: Donald Horne. A Life in the Lucky Country

In this episode of Biographers in Conversation, Ryan Cropp shares with Gabriella the multiplicity of choices he made while writing Donald Horne. A Life in the Lucky Country, the biography of Donald Horne, a prominent and outspoken Australian journalist, writer, public intellectual and social critic. Last week, The State Library of NSW shortlisted A Life in the Lucky Country for the 2024 National Biography Award.
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Marcia Biederman: The Disquieting Death of Emma Gill

In this episode of Biographers in Conversation, Marcia Biederman shares with Gabriella her approach to writing The Disquieting Death of Emma Gill, Abortion, Death and Concealment in Victorian New England.
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Cathy Perkins: The Shelf Life of Zora Cross

In this episode of Biographers in Conversation, Cathy Perkins chats with Gabriella about the choices she made while writing The Shelf Life of Zora Cross, the biography of Zora Cross, a prolific writer who caused a literary sensation in 1917 with her provocative series of erotic sonnets that celebrated sexual passion.
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Carl Rollyson: The Life of William Faulkner

In this episode of Biographers in Conversation, veteran American biographer Carl Rollyson chats with Gabriella about his two-volume biography of William Faulkner, a giant of literature who won the Pulitzer and Nobel prizes for some of the most innovative and enduring literature of the twentieth century. The first volume: The Life of William Faulkner: The Past Is Never Dead is followed by The Life of William Faulkner: This Alarming Paradox. Carl also published William Faulkner Day by Day, which provides a unique insight into the minute of Faulkner’s daily life and relationships.
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Sarah George. GAMU: The Dreamtime Stories, Life and Feelings of Big Bill Neidjie

In this episode of Biographers in Conversation, Sarah George chats with Gabriella about the choices she made while writing GAMU: The Dreamtime Stories, Life and Feelings of Big Bill Neidjie. Known as Kakadu Man
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Ann-Marie-Priest

Ann-Marie Priest: My Tongue Is My Own

In this episode of Biographers in Conversation, Ann-Marie Priest chats with Gabriella about the choices she made while writing her award-winning biography My Tongue Is My Own, the first biography of Gwen Harwood, one of Australia’s most distinctive poets. My Tongue Is My Own follows Harwood from her childhood in 1920s Brisbane, to her final years in Hobart in the 1990s.
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Mark McKenna: An Eye for Eternity. The Life of Manning Clark

In this episode of Biographers in Conversation, the historian Mark McKenna chats with Gabriella about the choices he made while writing An Eye for Eternity. The Life of Manning Clark, the biography of Australia’s legendary historian, Manning Clark.
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Nancy Hurrell: The Egan Irish Harps

In this episode of Biographers in Conversation, Nancy Hurrell, an acclaimed harpist and harp historian, chats with Gabriella about her book The Egan Irish Harps: Tradition, Patrons and Players.
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Brett Mason

Brett Mason: Wizards of Oz

In this episode of Biographers in Conversation,Brett Mason chats with Gabriella about the choices he made while writing Wizards of Oz: How Oliphant and Florey helped win the war and shape the modern world.
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Joel Stephen Birnie: My People’s Songs: How an Indigenous Family Survived Colonial Tasmania

In this episode of Biographers in Conversation, Joel Stephen Birnie chats with Gabriella about My People’s Songs: How an Indigenous Family Survived Colonial Tasmania, his historical biography of Tarenootairer
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Nadia Wheatley: The Life and Myth of Charmian Clift

In this episode of Biographers in Conversation, Nadia Wheatley chats with Gabriella about the choices she made while writing The Life and Myth of Charmian Clift, the biography of Charmian Clift, one of Australia’s most charismatic writers whose books were often decades ahead of their time.
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Kenneth Miller: Mapping the Darkness. The Visionary Scientists who Unlocked the Mysteries of Sleep (Part 2)

In this second of two episodes, Kenneth Miller continues his conversation with Gabriella about the choices he made while writing Mapping the Darkness. As we learned in the first episode, a century ago, sleep was widely considered a state of nothingness and a wasteful habit that we could learn to overcome. Thanks to the four scientists Kenneth introduced us to in episode one, we now know the truth: that sleep is an incredibly complex phenomenon, central to our physical, emotional, and cognitive health.
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Kenneth Miller: Mapping the Darkness. The Visionary Scientists who Unlocked the Mysteries of Sleep (Part 1)

In this first of two episodes, Kenneth Miller chats with Gabriella about the choices he made while writing Mapping the Darkness, The Visionary Scientists who Unlocked the Mysteries of Sleep, a group biography of four scientists who set out to answer two questions: “Why do we sleep?” and “How we can sleep better?”
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Matthew Lamb: Frank Moorhouse. Strange Paths

In this episode of Biographers in Conversation, biographer Matthew Lamb chats with Gabriella about the choices he made while writing Strange Paths, the biography of Frank Moorhouse, a celebrated Australian novelist, screenwriter and journalist.
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Bernadette Brennan: A Writing Life. Helen Garner and her Work

In this episode of Biographers in Conversation Gabriella chats with Bernadette Brennan about her book: A Writing Life. Helen Garner and her Work, a literary portrait of one of Australia’s most vital and revered authors.
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Peter FitzSimons: The Opera House

In this first episode of Biographers in Conversation, Peter FitzSimons chats with Gabriella about the choices he made while writing The Opera House, the gripping biography of Sydney Opera House, one of the world’s most iconic buildings.
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