Man Booker Prize-winner Paul Beatty (The Sellout) and award-winning author Roxane Gay (Difficult Women) both use humour to write about the trauma of history. According to The Guardian, The Sellout ‘has a joke-per-line ratio that a comedy writer would kill for, but the humor is nowhere near safe’. Roxane’s Difficult Women is a collection of stories of hardscrabble lives, passionate loves, and quirky and vexed human connection. They talk to Michael Williams about using bleak, provocative humour with purpose. 

Michael Williams (Australian)

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Michael Williams is the director of the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas in Melbourne. For 2015-2016 he hosted Blueprint for Living on RN, and he remains a regular guest on ABC radio and TV. Michael has also worked as a breakfast presenter for Melbourne’s 3RRR, as a member of the Australia Council’s Literature Board, in publishing and has written extensively for publications including The Guardian Australia, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian.