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Magabala Books' Chairperson, Edie Wright with Marie Munkara
In an event titled, 'A morning with Marie Munkara: the flip side of tragedy is comedy', the Arnhem Land author sat down with Magabala CEO, Anna Moulton for a heartfelt and often candid conversation about her life and the inspiration for her work, including her recently released autobiography, Of Ashes and Rivers that Run to the Sea (Penguin Random House 2016).
Of Rembarranga and Tiwi descent, Marie was delivered on the banks of the Mainoru River by her two grandmothers. She spent the first three years of her life on Bathurst Island before being removed from her family.
In her memoir, Munkara shares her extraordinary personal journey of discovery, drawing the reader in with her honesty, humour and courage.
Marie’s first book, Every Secret Thing (Penguin Random House), won the David Unaipon Award in 2008 and the 2010 Territory Book of the Year. It is being turned into a TV mini-series. Her second book, A Most Peculiar Act (Magabala Books 2014), has been translated into Kannada (a southern/central Indian language) and she is now working on a film script for it.
Marie was also commissioned to write two children’s books, Rusty Brown, and Rusty and Jojo, by Oxford Press.
Speaking to the Broome Advertiser about her latest project, Munkara said she had never set out to write a memoir, but accepted the invitation when it was presented to her by Penguin Random House.
“It was great fun,” she said. “It took me 10 weeks to write the 86,000 words and I just don’t know where it all came from.”
Asked about her experience of the Corrugated Lines Festival, Marie said she had an "amazing time in Broome" and enjoyed meeting Magabala staff for the first time. "And thanks for looking after me, it was more than I was expecting and I felt very honoured," she added. "I look forward to seeing you all again."