Bedtime Stories: Writers in conversation about the biggest subject of them all

banner image with title Bedtime Stories and photos of Heather Taylor Johnson, Chloe Hooper and Peter Goldsworthy

From the feverish imaginings of the romantic consumptives to Susan Sontag’s provocative treatise Illness as Metaphor, illness has always been a catalyst for thought. When writer Chloe Hooper’s partner was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive illness, she had to find a way to tell their two young sons. By instinct, she turns to the bookshelf. In her new Bedtime Story – part memoir, part manual – she asks whether such news can be broken as a bedtime tale. Is there a perfect book to prepare children for loss? At around the same time, writer, doctor and JMCCCP member Peter Goldsworthy was diagnosed with myeloma. He asked himself what sort of lessons cancer could teach him. In his memoir-in-progress, The Cancer Finishing School, Goldsworthy draws on tragic, comic and transcendent stories from his patients who had been there first.

JMCCCP title holder Heather Taylor Johnson has written lucidly about her own chronic illness, and in this public forum she draws two of Australia’s most celebrated writers, Hooper and Goldsworthy, into conversation about the biggest subject of them all.

Tagged in public forum, writers, illnessasmetaphor, Chloe Hooper, Heather Taylor Johnson, Peter Goldsworthy