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Event Details

Perumal Murugan: Resurrected Through Writing

6 March 2024
6.30pm – 7.45pm AEDT
Io Myers Studio, Esme Timbery Creative Practice Lab, UNSW Kensington
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Perumal Murugan

Perumal Murugan | Roanna Gonsalves

Acclaimed Tamil-language author Perumal Murugan’s books were once burned by far-right groups, and now he’s longlisted for one of the most prestigious awards in literature.  

Explore Murugan’s profound literary odyssey, from the challenges of being a Tamil writer in rural India, to the turmoil of book burning and societal backlash. This exclusive event explores Murugan’s latest work, Pyre, as he navigates societal complexities of villages “full of quiet menace”, so tense it leaves readers “gasping for air” (The New York Times). In an evening of conversation, chaired by award-winning author and UNSW lecturer Roanna Gonsalves, explore Murugan’s extraordinary literary resilience, his literary legacy and the cultural tapestry he weaves. 

Perumal Murugan, a Tamil speaker, and Roanna Gonsalves, an English speaker, will be in conversation in their respective languages. A live interpreter will provide consecutive interpretation throughout the event.

This event is presented by the UNSW Centre for Ideas and supported by Adelaide Writers’ Week


The Io Myers Studio is located inside the Esme Timbery Creative Practice Lab at UNSW Sydney's Kensington campus. Please note this is a live event only and will not be available via livestream.





Wheelchair Access
The closest accessible drop-off point to the Io Myers Studio is via Gate 2, High Street (highlighted pink on this map) and turn right at the roundabout. The entrance is immediately on your left under the concrete steps, opposite the University Terraces Car Park. More information on getting there can be found via our interactive accessibility map available here.

Assisted Listening
The Io Myers Studio, Esme Timbery Creative Practice Lab has an infrared hearing loop. Patrons wishing to utilise this need to identify themselves to the front of house team, and a headset will be provided.

Auslan & Captioning 
Auslan interpreting services of the English translation and/or live captioning of the English translation can be provided upon request.

To book and discuss access services, please call the Centre for Ideas on 02 9065 0485 or email


The Esme Timbery Creative Practice Lab is easily accessible via public transport and the closest light rail stop is UNSW Anzac Parade (L3 line). For more information please call the Transport Infoline on 131 500 or visit

Free parking is available from 5.30pm in the Western Campus Car Park. For access to free parking, event patrons must park in the UNSW Permit Holder bays. The Western Campus Car Park is located here, on Anzac Parade next to NIDA. This car park can be accessed via Western Campus Drive through Day Avenue. 

Paid casual and visitor parking is offered via the CellOPark App and ‘pay by plate meters’ in all other UNSW car parks. For more information head here.



For all the other enquiries, please email or call the Centre for Ideas on 02 9065 0485.

The Centre for Ideas is happy to receive phone calls via the National Relay Service. TTY users, phone 133 677, then ask for 02 9065 0485. Speak and Listen users, phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 02 9065 0485. For more information on all other relay calls visit here.

Perumal Murugan

Perumal Murugan

Perumal Murugan is one of India's most respected and highest selling literary writers, author of 11 novels and five collections each of short stories and poetry. He was born in rural Tamil Nadu, where he continues to live and work. He has twice been longlisted for the National Book Award for Translated Literature for One Part Woman and The Story of a Goat. Also published by Pushkin Press, Pyre was longlisted for the International Booker Prize 2023.

Roanna Gonsalves

Roanna Gonsalves

Roanna Gonsalves is an award-winning writer and educator with an interdisciplinary practice. She is the author of the critically acclaimed collection of short fiction, The Permanent Resident. Her series of radio documentaries about contemporary India, On the tip of a billion tongues, and her social-satirical radio essay Doosra: The life and times of an Indian student in Australia were commissioned and broadcast by ABC RN. She works as a Lecturer in Creative Writing at UNSW Sydney.

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