Shirley | Ronnie Scott, Kris Kneen | Avid Reader
Friday, 17 February 2023
Avid Reader Bookstore, 193 Boundary St, West End QLD 4101
Join author Kris Kneen in conversation with Ronnie Scott about his latest novel, Shirley.
The daughter of a celebrity must discover who is worthy of her devotion and who is just a fan.
It’s been twenty years since her mother was photographed, blood-soaked, outside the family home. A famous TV food personality, she fled the country. Since that time, the girl has grown up. She’s bought an apartment, learned her own cooking style, fallen in love. She lives a quiet life, working as a copywriter for a health insurance company. She’s found happiness, finally.
But strange things are in the air. Her easy-going boyfriend has started sleeping with men. Her mother is selling the infamous family home. And a glamorous, pregnant neighbour has moved into the apartment downstairs, calling into question everything the girl believes about her own desires.
How are we supposed to understand our past when all we have is our present? Do people still love us if they’d rather be anywhere but with us? And in a world of conspiracies, dubious loyalties, and mercenary impulses, how do we work out who is worthy of our devotion and who is just a fan?
Equal parts funny and contemplative, Shirley charts a search for meaning in a world where the fracturing of ambitions – work and purpose, real estate and home, family and love – has left us uncertain how to recognise ourselves.
Ronnie Scott's first novel The Adversary was shortlisted for a Queensland Literary Award and the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal. He teaches Creative Writing at RMIT.