Meet Our Readers – Ben Brooker

If you’ve been to any literary events in Adelaide over the last couple of years, you might know Ben Brooker.

He is a writer, editor, critic, essayist, and playwright and he’s also part of the team that brings you Quart Short literary reading salons, where Adelaide’s best actors read stories by our best local writers. If you haven’t been to a Quart Short event yet, we highly recommend it!

For The Hearth: Masquerade Ben is reading a piece of creative nonfiction about loving things that are uncool. No spoilers, but it does involve Billy Joel, 1970s nostalgia, and Carl Jung! We’re sold.

Billy Joel’s album The Stranger turned forty years old last year. Along with the rest of Joel’s oeuvre it formed an indelible part of the soundtrack to my teenagers years, despite the fact Joel – deeply uncool then as now – belonged to a previous generation.
What do our musical tastes tell us about our personalities? What is my relationship to Joel’s music? Is cool in itself a kind of mask, and does an appreciation of the uncool similarly require concealing if one is to make the ‘right’ kind of impression on others?

Ben’s work has been featured by OverlandNew MatildaNew InternationalistAustralian Book ReviewRealTimeThe Lifted Brow, and Daily Review. In 2016-17 he was an inaugural Sydney Review of Books Emerging Critics Fellow. You can find more about/by Ben at and @BenMBrooker

Ben Brooker
Ben Brooker

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