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When repression intrudes into a society by degrees, it is felt first by the powerless of that society: its poor, its minorities, its women. The rights of the defenseless are the first to be compromised – but the process rarely stops there. Tonight’s authors have both envisioned, in allegorical or imagined form, the dangers of repression: what might have been; what has already happened; what might yet be. Charlotte Wood’s most recent novel, The Natural Way of Things, winner of the 2016 Stella Prize, imagines a near future where subtle misogyny has festered to the bursting point. Sheng Keyi’s Death Fugue, published in Australia in 2014, is a more overt dystopia, but one in which the female body is again one of the primary targets of control. Hear them discuss the present, the future, and their own visions of hope.

Moderated by Eric Abrahamsen.

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