Kate Mildenhall in conversation with Anna Downes | The Hummingbird Effect

From the acclaimed author of The Mother Fault, a new epic and kaleidoscopic story of four women connected across time and place.

Date & Time

Mon, 7 Aug 2023

7:00pm – 8:30pm AEST


The Royal Oak 36 College Street Balmain, NSW 2041


More Details

  • Event Price – $18.69

Propulsive, tender and engrossing, The Hummingbird Effect is a feast for the heart as well as the mind and senses, and the latest from the acclaimed author of The Mother Fault. For fans of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas, Michelle de Kretser’s The Life to Come, and Jennifer Egan’s The Candy House, it confirms Kate Mildenhall as one of the most ambitious and dynamic writers in the country.

Join her on Monday 7 August at The Royal Oak as she talks about the book with Anna Downes, internationally bestselling author of The Safe Place.

Copies of The Hummingbird Effect will be available for purchase at the venue through Roaring Stories, with Mildenhall signing copies after the discussion.

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Attendees are asked to arrive at 6.30pm for a 7pm start. Seating is unallocated – another reason to arrive early to secure an optimal spot. Why not make a full evening of it, too, by ordering a meal at the Royal Oak before or after the event? One of Balmain’s oldest and most loved pubs, it serves a delicious range of food and beverages.

If you miss out on a ticket, you can still watch the event as it is livestreamed from the Roaring Stories Facebook page (accessible on the Home page and from the Live tab). A recording will also be available to view later as an upload on the Roaring Stories YouTube channel.

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One of the lucky few with a job during the Depression, Peggy’s just starting out in life. She’s a bagging girl at the Angliss meatworks, a place buzzing with life as well as death, where the gun slaughterman Jack has caught her eye – and she his.

How is her life connected to Hilda’s, almost a hundred years later, locked inside during a plague, or La’s, further on again, a singer working shifts in a warehouse as her eggs are frozen and her voice is used by AI bots? Let alone Maz, far removed in time, diving for remnants of a past that must be destroyed? Is it by the river that runs through their stories, eternal yet constantly changing – or by the mysterious Hummingbird Project, and the great question of whether the march of progress can ever be reversed?

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Kate Mildenhall is a writer and teacher. Her debut novel, Skylarking, was named in Readings Top Ten Fiction Books of 2016 and her bestselling The Mother Fault was longlisted for the 2021 ABIA General Fiction Book of the Year and shortlisted for the 2020 Aurealis Awards. Kate teaches creative writing and co-hosts The First Time podcast – which features conversations with Australian writers – and is currently undertaking a PhD in creative practice at RMIT University. Kate lives in Hurstbridge on Wurundjeri lands, with her partner and two children. Kate’s third novel is The Hummingbird Effect.

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Anna Downes grew up in Sheffield, UK. She studied drama at the University of Manchester before winning a place at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and moving to London to pursue an acting career that included credits in EastEnders, Casualty and Dalziel and Pascoe, as well as a long-running stage production of The Dresser in London’s West End.

Anna’s internationally bestselling debut novel, The Safe Place, was published simultaneously in Australia, the US and the UK in 2020 and was shortlisted for the 2021 Sisters in Crime Davitt Awards. Her second book, The Shadow House, was published in 2021 in Australia and New Zealand followed by publication in the UK and the USA in 2022. Both have been translated into over ten different languages. Anna has written for the Sydney Morning Herald, Sunday Life Magazine and CrimeReads, and has performed as a narrator on three separate audiobooks. She now lives on the Central Coast with her husband and two children.

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Please note that tickets are non-refundable unless the event is cancelled or postponed due to extenuating circumstances. Refunds cannot be issued 48 hours before the event.

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This event is presented by Roaring Stories Bookshop Balmain and Simon & Schuster.

With thanks to our venue partner The Royal Oak.

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