Cultural historian and writer Maria Tumarkin moved from the Ukraine to Australia at age 15. Her latest book applies a freewheeling intelligence to five common axioms such as ‘time heals all wounds’, interrogating their accuracy and adequacy in the face of trauma. “Maria Tumarkin’s shape-shifting Axiomatic deploys all the resources of narrative, reportage and essay,” writes Pankaj Mishra in the Guardian. “It is a work of great power and beauty.” Tumarkin is the author of three other acclaimed books of ideas: Traumascapes, Courage, and Otherland. She also collaborates with visual artists, psychologists and public historians, and teaches writing at the University of Melbourne. She appears in conversation with Chris Price.