The Past is Present
Toni Jordan and Robert Hillman with Jan McGuinness at Woodend Community Centre

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Forest Street, Woodend, Vic 3442
Woodend Community Centre

How does an author juggle two alternate stories that span different times and places to bring the reader a coherent whole? Toni Jordan’s The Fragments gives us a vivid 1930s New York and 1980s Brisbane, and Robert Hillman takes the Holocaust to a sleepy Victorian town in The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted.


Toni Jordan is the author of four novels. The international bestseller Addition was a Richard and Judy Bookclub pick and was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award. Fall Girl was published internationally and has been optioned for film, and Nine Days was awarded Best Fiction at the 2012 Indie Awards, was shortlisted for the ABIA Best General Fiction award and was named in Kirkus Review’s top 10 Historical Novels of 2013. Toni’s latest novel is Our Tiny, Useless Hearts.

Robert Hillman has written a number of books including his 2004 memoir The Boy in the Green Suit, which won the National Biography Award, and Joyful, published by Text in 2014. He lives in Melbourne.

Jan McGuinness is a journalist with extensive experience as an executive, section editor, columnist and senior writer for magazines and newspapers including The Age and The Bulletin, and as a reporter and producer for television. A former ABC TV Commissioning Editor Arts & Entertainment, she created the award-winning weekly book program ‘Between the Lines,’ and was chair of the Melbourne Writers Festival from 2004-2010. Jan taught long form and advanced writing to Journalism students at Monash University until recently and is working on a biography of the writer, Shirley Hazzard among other commissioned non-fiction work. Her latest book is La Nostra Storia, the story of Ballarat’s Italians. She is the Vice Chair of Janet Clarke Hall at the University of Melbourne and Vice President of Humanities 21.