From the bestselling author of The Flamethrowers comes the Man Booker Prize shortlisted The Mars Room. An unflinching portrait of a young woman’s life in a Californian prison where inmates must hustle and fight for the bare necessities, it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. With Wheeler Centre Director Michael Williams, Rachel Kushner discusses her fearless black comedy about love, friendship and incarceration, and explores the questions it raises about the relationship between the poverty and its prisons in the United States, and the nation’s devotion to the illusion of free will.

Michael Williams (Australian)

Michael Williams

Michael Williams is the Director of the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne. A sometime Radio National presenter, he remains a regular guest on ABC Radio and TV. Michael has also worked in publishing and as a presenter for Melbourne’s 3RRR (on Breakfasters), as a member of the Australia Council’s Literature Board, and has written extensively for The Guardian, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian and elsewhere.