Nalini Haynes talks to author and academic Ilsa Evans.
While bringing up her children solo, Ilsa completed an honors degree in Women’s Studies, for which she won the Dissertation Prize. During this time she also rose to the rank of Sergeant in the Army Reserves. These achievements were separate.
Ilsa completed a PhD at Monash University on the long-term effects of domestic violence. She teaches and writes social commentary for several newspapers and online journals. Two of her books were shortlisted for the prestigious Davitt (Sisters in Crime) Awards. Her novel about domestic violence, Broken, was an Australian best-seller. Women’s Weekly selected it as their Book of the Month. In 2011, Ilsa received the Eliminating Violence Against Women (EVA) Award for online journalism. Currently Ilsa squeezes public speaking around writing around working for Chisholm TAFE (in Melbourne’s south-east).
While uploading Ilsa Evans’s photo I couldn’t help but notice she looks remarkably like Kathy Lette. Ilsa’s humorous books resonate with me like Lette’s; they both use humor to reflect, to tell the truth, while entertaining. If you enjoy my interview of Ilsa, you’ll also love Kathy Lette’s podcast.
My review of The Unusual Abduction of Avery Conifer is here.
Some planned questions
Please tell us about the Unusual Abduction of Avery Conifer.
You have written several books delving into domestic violence in various ways, from the comedic style Laundry series to the very serious Broken. How does Avery Conifer fit in this spectrum?
Primarily this novel seems to be about the three women. And yet there are underlying issues of domestic violence, coercive control, a woman unjustly sent to jail…
According to your website you’re percolating a book about the invisibility of middle aged women. However, the woman most invisible and most underrated in your novel is the very elderly Winnie. In my opinion, Winnie is the Granny Weatherwax of this story. And I absolutely love her. Please tell us about Winnie.
Thank you for joining us. I hope you enjoyed this podcast. My next podcast will feature Anna Hopkins whose villainy in Shadowhunters won her renown and who is currently playing a journalist in The Expanse and a horror movie. Watch this space while staying safe!