65 | The writer and the advocate with Al Campbell, author of 'The Keepers'


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Author Al Campbell joins us to discuss her debut book 'The Keepers,' a fictionalised account of her own life both as the mother of two autistic boys and the survivor of an abusive parent.

Al shares the reasons behind her choice to write fiction instead of memoir, what people don't realise about the life of a full-time carer, and the struggle for disability advocacy.

'The Keepers' is a contemporary Australian novel infused with deep love and wild torment, 'about the damage done by parents who can’t love, the failures of a community that only claims to care, and the resilience of those whose stories mostly go untold'.

Born in Brisbane, Al Campbell is a mother and full-time carer. Long ago she studied a bit, acted a bit, and pulled a lot of beers. Her first publication was in 'Overland' in 2020, followed by a story in 'Signs of Life.' 'The Keepers' is about issues – and people – that matter to her more than anything.

Get your copy of 'The Keepers' from your local bookshop, Booktopia or wherever good books are sold.

Plus, check out the online courses from Writing NSW, including the six-week Online: Creative Non-fiction with Ashley, starting 31 October.

Books and authors discussed in this episode:

  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte;
  • David Vann;
  • Far from the Tree by Andrew Solomon;
  • We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver;
  • The Signal Line by Brendan Colley;
  • Denizen by James McKenzie Watson;
  • The Writer Laid Bare by Lee Kofman (who we spoke to back in ep 4);
  • The Suspect by Michael Robotham;
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy;
  • All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy;
  • Curlews on Vulture Street by Darryl Jones;
  • The Whispering by Veronica Lando;
  • Vikki Petraitis

James' novel 'Denizen' is out now! Learn more about it and buy your copy here.

Get in touch!

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