In Conversation with Courtney Angela Brkic
This event is in partnership with the Cheuse International Writers Center.
A finalist for the Miles Franklin Literary Award in 2018, No More Boats is not only a riveting story of a modern family—it also directly addresses issues that many nations around the world are grappling with as never before—namely, immigration, xenophobia, protectionism, racism, media manipulation, unchecked urban property development, and the precariousness of the working poor.
Set in Sydney’s working-class western suburbs, No More Boats tells of a family whose unraveling lives collide with a refugee crisis known as the Tampa Affair, when over 400 hundred refugees were left stranded fifteen miles off the Australian coast. The story revolves around Antonio, an Italian immigrant, his wife Rose, with a rich back story of her own, and their two children, Nico and Claire, both, in their owns ways, drifting. After a work-related accident forces him into early retirement and the familiar scaffolding of work, family, the immigrant’s dream of betterment, is removed from his life, Antonio’s mind begins to fragment. Manipulated by the media and made vulnerable by his feeling of irrelevance, Antonio commits an act that makes him a lightning rod for the factions that are bitterly at odds over the Tampa Affair and the “immigrant question.”
No More Boats is an unbiased, moving, original, important story about the the world we live in, the families we come from, the raw impulses that we attempt to conceal.
Felicity Castagna won the 2014 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction for her previous novel, The Incredible Here and Now, which was shortlisted for the Children's Book Council of Australia and NSW Premier's Literary Awards, and adapted for the stage by the National Theatre of Parramatta. Her collection of short stories, Small Indiscretions, was named an Australian Book Review Book of the Year. Castagna's work has appeared on radio and television, and she runs the storytelling series Studio Stories.
Courtney Angela Brkic Courtney Angela Brkic is the author of The First Rule of Swimming (Little, Brown, and Company, 2013), Stillness: and Other Stories (FSG, 2003) and The Stone Fields (FSG, 2004). Her work has also appeared in Zoetrope, The New York Times, The Washington Post Magazine, Harpers & Queen, the Utne Reader, TriQuarterly Review, Guernica, National Geographic, and others. Brkic has been the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Whiting Writer’s Award. Stillness, her short fiction collection about the wars in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, was named a Barnes and Noble Discover pick, a 2003 Chicago Tribune "Best Book" and a 2003 New York Times "Notable Book". The Stone Fields records her work on mass gravesites around Srebrenica, as well as her family's history during the Second World War in Sarajevo, and was shortlisted for a Freedom of Expression Award by the Index on Censorship.
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