Lunch Hour Talks

17 June Lunch Hour Talk

17 June Lunch Hour Talk

Speaker: Cathy Perkins

Topic: A Writer’s Shelf Life

Australian writer Zora Cross was considered a minor figure in literary history until biographer Cathy Perkins unearthed her story. From Cross’s 1917 poetry sensation Songs of Love and Life, to her novels, letters and profiles of other female authors, she was a lifelong writer whose personal struggle still resonates today. Cathy’s book The Shelf Life of Zora Cross was the result of a 10-year fascination with Zora Cross. Reviewers have called it an ‘imaginatively conceived biography’ (Sydney Morning Herald), ‘a beguiling narrative … splendidly told’ (Australian Book Review) and ‘an utter delight to read’ (Good Reading), and it was shortlisted for the Australian History Prize of the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.

Cathy will talk about her process in writing the biography. Why do we forget some writers from the past and remember others? And what does it take to bring someone back from obscurity and extend their shelf life?

Cathy Perkins is a writer and editor who lives in Sydney. She edits the Openbook magazine and other publications at the State Library of NSW, and has worked as a book editor, in a bookshop, and for the Australian Society of Authors. Her essays on Zora Cross have been published in the literary journal Meanjin and The Shelf Life of Zora Cross is her first book.

Where The meeting room at the Customs House Library, at Circular Quay.

When The talk will begin at 12.15, The room is open from 11.30 for tea/coffee/sandwiches which again will be available.

Entry $16 JSNWL members $22 non-members

PLEASE BOOK BY NOON Monday 14TH JUNE – we are only allowed 30 people in the space so you can see a Zoom presentation.

Here is the link to the meeting https://uni-sydney.zoom.us/j/94940379829

26 March Lunch Hour Talk

26 March Lunch Hour Talk

Speaker: Natalie Conyer

Topic: Present Tense

When South Africa moved from apartheid to majority rule, locally produced crime fiction became extremely popular. Why was this? What does crime fiction have to say about the new South Africa, and how does it deal with real-life crime there? Natalie Conyer will talk about why she chose to write about South Africa and the challenges she faced in doing so. 

Natalie was born and grew up in Cape Town, South Africa but now lives in Sydney. Her debut crime novel, ‘Present Tense’, is set in Cape Town. Her short stories have won several awards in the Scarlet Stiletto competition run by Sisters in Crime Australia.

For more information and to book, go to

Lunch Hour Talks