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It’s A Long Story

A podcast about the moments that made the people who shape our culture

How did the sound of a toilet flushing almost ruin the pilot episode of Serial? What led the star of Thelma and Louise to found the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media? Find the answer to these questions and more on It's A Long Story, the Sydney Opera House podcast exploring the stories behind the big ideas of some of our most influential and acclaimed guests.

Listen to It's A Long Story on iTunes, Stitcher, community radio via CRN or Etihad Airways' E-BOX inflight entertainment.

Latest episodes

Barbara Kingsolver

Tuesday 31 July 2018

How might literature change the world? American author Barbara Kingsolver has been asking this question through her best-selling novels and essays for years. After a self-described ‘curious childhood’ split between rural Appalachia and remote global locations where her doctor father was posted, she developed an independent spirit and an unshakeable love for the natural world. This passion manifested as activism during her biology degree, but despite becoming a scientist, it was literature than ultimately won out. This episode of It's A Long Story is hosted by Edwina Throsby.

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Mandy Len Catron

Tuesday 17 July 2018

There’s a widespread assumption that we are all are better off in relationships, and Mandy Len Catron has been aware of the throwaway truisms about love since her childhood in rural Appalachian Virginia. But when the reality of life fell short of these idealised, feminine notions, Mandy turned to science to explore other narratives. Following the research, she wrote 'To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This' for the New York Times, offering the tantalising answer to one of life’s biggest questions: just how do we fall in love? This episode of It's A Long Story is hosted by Edwina Throsby.

CN Lester

Tuesday 3 July 2018

There aren’t many places where we aren’t boxed in to strict categories. For English singer-songwriter CN Lester, music has always provided a safe space where these restrictions don’t apply. Raised in London by a family that encouraged them to think outside traditional gender roles, CN, who is gender queer and uses the pronoun they, grew up to be a committed activist. Now, they also run a queer performance night in London that has the salient motto: Don’t make assumptions. This episode of It's A Long Story is hosted by Edwina Throsby.

Rebecca Walker

Tuesday 19 June 2018

The daughter of Alice Walker, who wrote the African-American classic The Color Purple, and Melvyn Leventhal, a Jewish civil rights lawyer, Rebecca Walker’s intersecting and sometimes jarring identities were the foundation of her career. Rebecca’s work has always been a response to her personal situation, be it family, identity, becoming a mother, masculinity, race, Buddhism, or a combination of all of these, and she has developed a strong and compelling ethos about what it means to live a feminist life in an ever-changing world. This episode of It's A Long Story is hosted by Edwina Throsby.

Kate Bolick

Tuesday 5 June 2018

As a middle-class girl from a happy family, Kate Bolick’s life was on track: go to college, get a job, and then, become a wife. But after losing her mother, Kate began to question this predictable trajectory. In 2011, when she was in her thirties and still unmarried, Kate wrote an article that wove together her personal story with an economic analysis of singledom in the 21st Century. It was called All the Single Ladies and it became an online sensation. It served as the catalyst for Kate’s first book called Spinster: Making a life of one’s own. The memoir reflects on the intergenerational lessons and legacies of feminism, and is a call to arms for autonomous women everywhere. This episode of It's A Long Story is hosted by Edwina Throsby.

Fran Lebowitz

Tuesday 22 May 2018

Growing up in New Jersey, lifelong bookworm Fran Lebowitz has always done things on her own terms. After getting expelled from high school, she answered the call and moved to New York City to pursue her dream of becoming a writer. She quickly became part of the legendary New York club scene of the 1970s, hanging out at Max’s Kansas City and writing for Andy Warhol’s Interview Magazine. Since then, she’s been watching as the world evolves and changes: and whether it’s sexuality, AIDS, activism, feminism, technology or presidents, she will most definitely have an opinion on it. This episode of It's a Long Story is hosted by Edwina Throsby.

Zaachariaha Fielding

Tuesday 3 April 2018

Growing up in the small community of Mimili in South Australia, Zaachariaha Fielding always knew he wanted to entertain. Moving to the city as a teenager, he quickly became a part of Adelaide’s music scene, before trying his hand on the reality TV show The Voice. But it’s in the duo Electric Fields where Zaachariaha has really begun to thrive. Crossing genres like soul, pop and electronica, the musical partnership with Michael Ross has led him to massive stages all around Australia and the world. This episode of It's a Long Story is hosted by Emily Nicol.

Irish Mythen

Tuesday 20 March 2018

Irish Mythen has always had a love for the road. Moving as a kid from the south-east coast of Ireland to Africa and the Middle East, the sights, sounds and stories of these places inspired her. Like any good troubadour, she’s since traveled extensively, gathering tales and meeting people. Since then, Irish has built a strong following on the international folk music circuit, opening for the likes of Melissa Etheridge and Rod Stewart and taking the stage at some of Australia’s biggest festivals like Bluesfest and Woodford. Her powerful voice, paired with a sense of humour and knack for understanding people, instantly wins over crowds wherever she goes. This episode of It's a Long Story is hosted by Emily Nicol.

Airileke Ingram

Tuesday 6 March 2018

Raised between Darwin and his ancestral home of Gabagaba in Papua New Guinea, Airileke Ingram was drumming from a young age. His grandfather taught him traditional techniques, igniting a love for percussion that led to a world tour with the Australian Youth Orchestra. Since then, Airileke has played with some of our most prominent Indigenous musicians, soundtracked a Hollywood film and scored an ARIA nomination. But it’s his passion for making community through music that really drives Airileke. His latest collaboration is Sorong Samarai, featuring West Papuan independence leader Benny Wenda. This episode of It's a Long Story is hosted by Emily Nicol.

Tamika Mallory

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Tamika Mallory has been protesting pretty much her entire life. From joining Reverend Al Sharpton's National Action Network age 15 to working with the Obama administration on gun control legislation. As the national co-chair of the Women's March on Washington, Tamika proved that women are at the centre of the resistance against the Trump presidency.  This episode of It's a Long Story is hosted by Marc Fennell.

Shashi Tharoor

Tuesday 6 February 2018

Author, politician, and former international civil servant, Shashi Tharoor is a man of many talents. He spent nearly 29 years at the United Nations as a peacekeeper and refugee worker culminating as undersecretary general. He's published 16 books, won numerous literary awards and was named by the 1998 World Economic Forum in Davos as a Global Leader of Tomorrow. Currently, Shashi is serving his second term as Congress MP in India. This episode of It's A Long Story is hosted by Marc Fennell.

Inua Ellams: Creating space to get lost

Tuesday 23 January 2018

Born in Nigeria to a Muslim father and a Christian mother, Inua Ellems fled with his family at age 12 to the UK. Inua spent his life creating art, writing poetry, and going on long walks through the city. While everyone else was sleeping, he was searching for some sense of identity. This episode of It’s a Long Story is hosted by Marc Fennell.

Born in North Korea in 1993, Yeonmi Park grew up in a society devoted to ‘Dear Leader’ Kim Jong-Il. As a child she regularly came across dead bodies on the street and spent months at a time without electricity. In 2007, Yeonmi and her mother escaped into China, but were captured and sold to human traffickers. This episode of It’s a Long Story is hosted by Marc Fennell.

Growing up in New Jersey Amani Al-Khatahtbeh was a pretty normal kid. Then 9/11 happened and life changed forever. She spent her teenage years navigating growing racism and Islamophobia in America, and at the age of 17 she founded the blog Muslim Girl. The site gave young Muslim women a platform to discuss everything from periods to politics. This episode is hosted by Marc Fennell.

Eve Ensler: The power of story

Tuesday 12 December 2017

One evening in 1996, the basement of the Cornelia Street Café in New York’s Greenwich Village came alive when Eve Ensler performed The Vagina Monologues for the very first time. Since then, her play has been translated into 48 languages and presented in over 140 countries. In the 20 years that have passed since the premiere, Eve has gone on to write many more plays and books and started global political movements. This episode is hosted by Marc Fennell.

An HBO Documentary, two best-selling memoirs, pop culture cover stories, beauty columns, speaking engagements, essays, social media—Janet Mock is doing it all. Janet is arguably one of the most influential transwomen working in media and is using every tool available to her to tell the stories that shift and challenge preconceived notions about what is possible for transpeople. This episode of It's A Long Story is hosted by Marc Fennell.