Entertaining and always surprising stories from Frank Moorhouse.
'I found my way to the seat in the empty auditorium . . . I wondered who would sit with me. A bit like school days . . . Throughout the auditorium people are connecting, making their alliance, for personal security, sexual possibility, eating-drinking alliances, affirmations that we do not sit alone in the world. But there are also those who come alone, wear their name tag and seem to know no one and to meet no one. A few people come to talk with me. No one sits with me.'
As the conference participants settle in with their name tags and satchels, as they sort out amongst themselves their seating arrangements and gently jostle for positions at the bar bistro, as they brace themselves for the first confrontation between opposing factions, award-winning writer Frank Moorhouse wryly observes the subtle shifts in their allegiances and pretensions.
Using this neat microcosmic device to fullest advantage, Moorhouse shrewdly explores the limitations of Australian intellectual life and, as in The Americans, Baby and The Electrical Experience, displays his brilliant grasp of social interplay.