The UQ Book Club will launch in May

Championing Australian literature through the UQ community

Now more than ever, we may find ourselves turning towards literature. Whether we are picking up a book for the first time or rediscovering a beloved pastime. Literature can aid the ubiquitous need to escape from reality, to find a sense of hope and to provide comfort.

The UQ Book Club will launch in May, taking us through self-isolation and into a post-pandemic era. Each month, the book club will champion and discuss works of Australian literature as part of an interactive online community.


Join the UQ Book Club


Meet our host

Associate Professor Stephen Carleton, School of Communication and Arts
Director, Centre for Critical and Creative Writing

After discovering theatre during his university days, Associate Professor Stephen Carleton has been no stranger to the world of creative arts. A playwright by trade, his plays have been produced across Australia and he has won awards including the Griffin Award (2015) for The Turquoise Elephant, and the Matilda Award for Best New Australian Play (2017) for Bastard Territory. As Director at UQ’s Centre for Critical and Creative Writing, it is fitting that he will now also host UQ’s monthly Book Club.

“At the Centre for Critical and Creative Writing, we want to make UQ the best place in Australia to become a writer and to think critically about writing that makes a difference in the world. I think that brief really aligns with some of the aims of the book club,” Professor Carleton said.

“Those aims include helping to develop an intellectual community of people who are interested in writing, even if they didn’t study literature but wanted to share that kind of communal pleasure in writing and in literature.”

Each month, Professor Carleton will be joined by a guest from the Australian literary scene, opening with a discussion and followed by a Q&A with audience members.

“The book club will offer a shared sense of celebration of the work that's being generated and published from our own community, while showcasing what a great place the University is to come and have these intellectual and cultural conversations,” Professor Carleton said.

“It also demonstrates that we’re a rich and vibrant centre of cultural and creative life in Brisbane and Queensland.”

The book club’s featured book for May will be Stone Sky Gold Mountain by Mirandi Riwoe. Set during the gold-rush era in Australia, Riwoe’s book deals with timeless questions of identity and belonging. Stone Sky Gold Mountain is available for purchase through UQ Press. Use the code UQBOOKCLUB at checkout to receive 20 per cent off.

Visit the UQ Book Club if you would like to take part. Registrations are essential.

About Stone Sky Gold Mountain

Family circumstances force siblings Ying and Lai Yue to flee their home in China to seek their fortunes in Australia. Life on the gold fields is hard, and they soon abandon the diggings and head to nearby Maytown. Once there, Lai Yue gets a job as a carrier on an overland expedition, while Ying finds work in a local store and strikes up a friendship with Meriem, a young white woman with her own troubled past. When a serious crime is committed, suspicion falls on all those who are considered outsiders.

Evoking the rich, unfolding tapestry of Australian life in the late 19th century, Stone Sky Gold Mountain is a heartbreaking and universal story about the exiled and displaced, about those who encounter discrimination yet yearn for acceptance.

Mirandi Riwoe is the author of the novella The Fish Girl, which won Seizure’s Viva la Novella V and was shortlisted for the Stella Prize and the Queensland Literary Award’s UQ Fiction Prize, and Stone Sky, Gold Mountain. Her work has appeared in Best Australian StoriesMeanjinReview of Australian FictionGriffith Review and Best Summer Stories. Mirandi has a PhD in Creative Writing and Literary Studies and lives in Brisbane.