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May 13, 2021

Writer reveals secret of the Good Life

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What makes a life worth living? That’s the question social researcher and psychologist Hugh Mackay poses in his new book, The Good Life.

You can hear him in intimate conversation on Tuesday June 11 from 6pm in the Byron Community Centre Theatre.

He is one of our country’s most respected social commentators, analysts and the author of 14 books.

Unsurprisingly, Hugh concludes that a good life is not measured by wealth, security, status, achievement or, controversially, levels of happiness.

He avows a good life is determined by our capacity for selflessness and our willingness to connect with those around us in a meaningful and useful way.

According to Northern Rivers Writers’ Centre Director Jeni Caffin, this is a book for our times, and if ever there was a book for our community, and a conversation that we needed to have, this is it. It’s a milestone: there will be some with whom Hugh’s conclusions immediately resonate, there will be others who feel moved to challenge and question. This illustrates the power of a book: this is not just an opportunity for reflection, but for change.’

The Good Life examines the ‘utopian’ complex; a dangerous desire for perfection, and the false expectation that life will unfold according to carefully laid plans. Hugh highlights the things that lead us along paths to pain and confusion, notably our willingness to sacrifice others on the altar of our personal desires and ambitions.

A Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society, his publishing pedigree includes nine books in the field of social psychology and ethics, plus five novels. Hugh’s visit to Byron Bay on Tuesday 11 June is specifically to engage with our community and to interrogate his research and conclusions in this one-off conversation with former ABC broadcaster, Jane Munro.

Presented in partnership with Southern Cross University, the dialogue heralds the beginning of a new series of encounters with interesting minds that the Northern Rivers Writers’ Centre will present throughout the next twelve months. NRWC and Byron Bay Writers’ Festival Director Jeni Caffin explains ‘We are beginning a program of out of Festival conversations that will keep our community of thinkers and readers engaged and informed. The writers confirmed for the months following August’s Writers’ Festival represent a staggering accumulation of genius, innovation, intelligence and imagination. Just you wait!’

Tickets are available from http://www.nrwc.org.auor from the Northern Rivers Writers’ Centre on 6685 5115. Bookings essential.

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