The Gospel According To Emily Maguire


Emily Maguire is a writer whose articles and essays on sex, religion, culture and literature have been published in numerous Australian and international outlets, including The author of three novels, Taming The Beast (2004), The Gospel According to Luke (2006) and this year’s Smoke In The Room, Emily has been widely lauded for the unflinching intelligence of her prose. These works, coupled with Princesses and Pornstars (2008), a non-fictional investigation of the socialisation and objectification of young women, have earned Emily a reputation as one of Australia’s leading feminist commentators. Less well known is her love of roller derby and the fact that she shares parents with‘s resident satirist, Ben Pobjie. 

1. If you were given $5 million, what would you spend it on?

I’d pay off my mortgage, buy a couple of round the world plane tickets and split the rest between Amnesty International and the Global Fund for Women.

2. Who would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?

Stephen Fry.

3. What trivia topic will you beat everyone else in the pub to the buzzer on?

Comparative religion.

4. The headline you’d most like to see on the front page of a daily newspaper.

Rudd Abolishes Indonesian Solution.

5. Complete this sentence. I’d like to hear Kevin Rudd say "…"

"I deeply regret my government’s inhumane treatment of asylum seekers and make a commitment to comply with our obligations under the UN Refugee Convention."

6. If you could have made one major life move differently, what would it have been?

I wish I’d never smoked that first cigarette.

7. You’re on a desert island with only a magical television for entertainment. It only broadcasts sports. It can only broadcast one sporting code. You choose the sport.

Roller derby.

8. You’ve been appointed research director for an organisation funded by a hands-off philanthropist. What do you tell your staff to find out?

How to close the gender pay gap.

9. How often do you check your email?


10. What annoys you about politicians?

I’m more annoyed by the game than the players. I find the adversarial, must-be-two-sides-and-only-two-sides nature of political debate (and most political reporting and analysis) immensely frustrating.

11. Name someone in Australian public life who deserves a promotion.

Ben Pobjie.

12. Name someone in Australian public life who should be out on their ear.

I agree with Ben Eltham: the entire NSW Government.

13. Can we fix climate change?

I honestly don’t know. We could be trying much harder to find out, though.

14. If we were in a karaoke club and not online, what song would you sing?

"These Boots Were Made for Walking."

15. Have you ever seen a ghost?


16. Computers could be improved. How?

A laptop battery that allowed a full day’s work would be super.

17. I’m going to get a coffee? What can I get you?

Long black, thanks.

18. Do you have a hidden talent?

I’m an excellent packer. I can travel for months with just one small bag.

19. What image should hang on the wall of the PM’s office?

This one.

20. What question should we ask our next interviewee?

Is honesty the best policy?

BONUS: This is a question from our last interviewee
How many politicians does it take to change a light bulb?

I’m not going to respond to hypotheticals. We can talk numbers after we’ve received the interim report from the parliamentary inquiry.

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