About Michelle Scott Tucker

Writer, reader and author of Elizabeth Macarthur: A Life at the Edge of the World.

Book Review: Flames by Robbie Arnott

Evocative. Intriguing. Compelling. Flames is a wonderful novel, and Arnott is a terrific new young voice in Australian fiction. In this assured debut, Arnott immerses the reader in the Tasmanian landscape, in weird and often uncanny ways. At a superficial level, we follow the story of twenty-three-year-old Charlotte McAllister. Charlotte's mother has just died and returned (briefly) from the dead, her father is absent, and her brother wants to build her a coffin. In her grief, Charlotte flees southwards to an isolated, and improbable, wombat farm where she discovers more [...]

2018-07-16T18:26:20+00:00 July 16th, 2018|Book Review|6 Comments

Joining the Stella team

In a move that surprised me as much as anyone else, I've been selected as the new Executive Director of the Stella Prize. My new role was announced today, and I'll be starting in early August. In a very short time, Stella has made an important impact on the Australian literary landscape. I feel excited – and privileged – to be selected to lead a team whose work remains so relevant and necessary. Not sure yet how, or if, my new role will change what I blog about. I guess [...]

2018-07-03T12:36:00+00:00 July 3rd, 2018|Life|15 Comments

Random Thoughts About Author Talks

People are generous. My author talk at 'Clunes on Sunday' was chaired by a woman who had inherited her farm from her mother, who had inherited it from her own mother. She told me that mine was the first book she'd read in twenty years and that she'd enjoyed it very much. She also said - and I think this is the nicest compliment I've ever received about my writing - that it read like it was written by someone from the country.* People are kind. Elizabeth Macarthur's descendant, John Macarthur-Stanham, [...]

2018-06-19T22:14:35+00:00 June 19th, 2018|Life, Writing|5 Comments

Speaking as an author…

I was afraid, when I began to do author talks, that someone would take me to task about this dubious fact, or that poorly argued inference. I thought they might interrogate me about my sources, or debate the validity of some of my suppositions. It hasn't happened. Not yet, anyway. What I AM constantly being asked is why, and how, I first became interested in EM. If you're wondering too, I wrote about the answer to that ages ago, in a post you can find here. Sometimes I'm asked about [...]

2018-05-27T19:02:02+00:00 May 27th, 2018|Author Interviews, Writing|4 Comments

Out and about, talking about Elizabeth Macarthur

Promoting the book has so far been a very happy, enjoyable process. Talking to interesting people, hanging out in libraries and bookshops, eating scones - seriously, what's not to love? And yes, those scones pictured left were laid on after my talk by the lovely Clare, who owns Aesop's Attic book shop in Kyneton, Victoria. They were homemade, and every bit as delicious as they look. I have finished my run of radio interviews for now and, just as I was getting very comfortable with delivering author talks, I seem [...]

2018-05-14T14:31:48+00:00 May 14th, 2018|Work in Progress|5 Comments

Good biography, bad biography – two brief book reviews

This year's winner of the Pulitzer Prize for biography was Caroline Fraser, for Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder. If, like me, you read the Little House on the Prairie books as a child, then you already know all about Laura Ingalls Wilder. She grew up in the 1800s on the American frontier, with Ma, Pa, blind sister Grace and little sister Carrie.  Ma was endlessly patient and good, and jovial Pa was wise and strong and brave. There were blizzards and locusts, danger and drama, all tempered by [...]

2018-04-27T12:00:42+00:00 April 27th, 2018|Book Review|9 Comments

What does being a new author feel like?

So far? Joyous. My friends and family are all super happy for me and it's too soon for any dubious reviews. Quite the opposite, including this very nice one in The West Australian. People have even complimented me on my neat handwriting. In the past week alone I've had a launch party, two library talks and five radio interviews (including one with Wendy Harmer - yes WENDY HARMER!!!!!!) And every occasion was full of people who wished me well, and simply wanted to know more about Elizabeth Macarthur. The launch [...]

2018-04-15T17:11:11+00:00 April 15th, 2018|Writing|8 Comments

Invisible Women of Australian History

Today is yet another milestone: I've had an essay, titled Invisible Women, published in the excellent Inside Story magazine. Inside Story's contributor list reads like a Who's Who of quality Australian journalism, so I'm feeling bit lightheaded, frankly. A version of this essay began life as the final chapter of the biography. I wanted to discuss Elizabeth Macarthur's legacy, and to explain why she was important, and it all came out in a heated rush. But my editor thought not, saying that it differed (in tone and content) too widely [...]

2018-04-09T21:58:51+00:00 April 9th, 2018|Interesting Articles, Writing|2 Comments

Listen up…

Interviews tomorrow with three different radio stations: listen in after 4pm to Radio Northern Beaches (Sydney); after 4:45pm to ABC Broken Hill; or after 5:45 (WA time) to ABC Drive WA. Am also speaking on Thursday morning with Wendy Harmer (yes, Wendy Harmer!!!!) - listen in after 9:00am to the ABC Sydney morning show. And on Friday it's one more interview, with ABC Bendigo (Central Victoria). Listen in after 10:30. If you're really keen, you can also listen online to last week's interviews: 2ser Sydney Breakfast Show. Fast forward to 1.04.10 [...]