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We are delighted to host an event to celebrate the release of Robert Dessaix’s newest book, The Pleasures of Leisure.

Robert Dessaix will be in conversation with Adam Ouston at the Salamanca Inn on Monday May 8th.

In today’s crazily busy world the importance of making time for leisure is more vital than ever. Yet so many of us lack a talent for it. We are working longer hours, consuming more than ever before; technology erodes the work–life balance further; increasingly, people feel that only work gives existence meaning. In a world where time is money, what is the value of walking without purpose, socialising without networking, nesting when we could be on our laptops?

Robert Dessaix shows, in this thoughtful and witty book, how taking leisure seriously gives us back our freedom – to enjoy life, to revel in it, in fact; to deepen our sense of who we are as human beings. He explains how we can reclaim our right to ‘rest well’, and to loaf, groom, nest and play, as he looks at leisure from many angles: reading, walking, travelling, learning languages, taking siestas and simply doing nothing. The result is a terrifically lively and engaging conversation that reminds us that at leisure we are at our most intensely and pleasurably human.

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Robert Dessaix (above) is a writer of fiction, autobiography and the occasional essay. From 1985 to 1995, after teaching Russian language and literature for many years at the Australian National University and the University of New South Wales, he presented the weekly Books and Writing program on ABC Radio National. In more recent years he has also presented radio series on Australian public intellectuals and great travellers in history, as well as regular programs on language.

His best-known books, all translated into several European languages, are his autobiography A Mother’s Disgrace; the novels Night Letters and Corfu; a collection of essays and short stories (and so forth); and the travel memoirs Twilight of Love and Arabesques. In 2012 he published the collection of originally spoken pieces As I Was Saying,and in 2014 the meditation What Days Are For. 

Adam Ouston’s work has appeared in numerous literary journals as well as the 2014 Transportation: Islands and Cities anthology. He is the recipient of the 2014 Erica Bell Literary Award for his manuscript The Party, which was also shortlisted for the University of Tasmania Prize in the Tasmanian Premier’s Literary Awards 2015.

Ouston’s long interest in Dessaix’s work (his PhD was This Mortal Coil: Travel, Identity, Mortality in the Work of Robert Dessaix), suits him perfectly for this event.

The bar will be open, so come along to hear these two writers in conversation – it promises to be a leisurely and pleasurable evening!

Where: The Churchill Room, Salamanca Inn (10 Gladstone Street, Hobart)
When: Monday May 8th, 5.30pm

Free event, all welcome.