Presented by Melissa Cranenburgh


Backstory: The Other Half Of Michael Mohammed Ahmad

From a child to a teenager to an adult, Michael Mohammed Ahmad’s latest novel The Other Half of You completes his three coming-of-age novels, largely inspired by his own experience growing up as a second-generation Muslim in Australia. Join Mohammed, who was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award for his previous novel The Lebs, as he explains how he writes, and his view of contemporary literary representation, on Backstory with Melissa Cranenburgh.

Flawed decisions, internalised racism, oppressive traditions and conflicting personal desires -- these are all aspects of Mohammed's own history and the history of his characters. Using the protagonist as his ‘alter-ego’, he is able to navigate complex, potentially uncomfortable discussions about social injustice. Mohammed says that he has only two things in mind: to encourage other voices within his community, and to humanise his characters, thus shining a light on both flaws and weaknesses -- that is where reality and growth lies.

Photo credit: Anna Kucera

Michael Mohammed Ahmad
Listen to Backstory: The Other Half Of Michael Mohammed Ahmad52:394 August 2021