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If we could talk to the animals: voices of sentient beings in literature

  • Deakin Downtown, Level 12 Tower 2 727 Collins Street Docklands, VIC, 3008 Australia (map)

Award-winning author Leah Kaminsky discusses the voices of sentient beings in literature in her latest novel The Hollow Bones (Penguin, 2019).

A lyrical and poignant cautionary tale, The Hollow Bones brings to life one of the Nazi regime’s little-known villains through the eyes of the animals he destroyed and the wife he undermined in the name of science and cold ambition.


Leah Kaminsky is a physician and award-winning writer. Her debut novel The Waiting Room won the prestigious Voss Literary Prize and was shortlisted for the Helen Asher Award. The Hollow Bones (Vintage) won the 2019 International Book Awards in both Literary Fiction & Historical Fiction categories. The Fish Council will be published by UQP in 2020. We’re all Going to Die has been described as ‘a joyful book about death’. She edited Writer MD and co-authored Cracking the Code. Stitching Things Together was a finalist in the Anne Elder Poetry Award. She holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. (

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