Unfortunately I only managed to get to three talks at this year's Sydney Writers Festival, which boasted over 300 events with many local and international authors and writers. You can check out some of this year's events here on their youtube channel. My final event was Murder in the Making, which was a discussion between Australian fiction and true crime authors about why they decided to write about crime and murder.
The authors involved were Emily Maguire, who not only writes crime fiction but also pens essays and articles on sex, religion and culture; Anna Westbrook, who has just written her debut crime novel; and true crime writer and academic, Alecia Simmonds. The facilitator was Dr Alyce McGovern, a Senior Lecturer in Criminology in the School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at UNSW Australia.
It was a great discussion that felt like an extension of Gloria Steinem's writing about violence in the home and concepts of masculinity (especially in Australia). These very smart women spoke about the mainstream narrative around victims, such as who 'qualifies' to be a victim; the levels of description around the violence of the crime being written about; and the defining scilence around the fact that there is one woman killed every week in Australia.
It is wonderful to see that there are Australian authors (especially women) are writing within the crime genre and challenging the tropes around victims, white male protagonists' and descriptions of violence.