Dinner With The Dissidents

2pm Sunday 17th February 2019 – The Warehouse
36 Fraser Street – Clunes
Join us at The Warehouse and meet author John Tesarsch


About The Book

Dinner with the Dissidents is set in 1970s Moscow and contemporary Canberra, and draws startling parallels between political machinations in the old Soviet Union and the West today. Local book lovers may enjoy the book not only for its compelling narrative, but also for the familiar scenes of Canberra and Lake Burley Griffin.

John has long been fascinated with this era of the Soviet Union, specifically the clash of politics and the arts. More than twenty years ago he learnt about the real-life secluded dacha (country house) of Mstislav Rostropovich, the legendary cellist, where Solzhenitsyn and other notable dissidents gathered – including composer Dmitri Shostakovich – after they had effectively been shunned by the state.

The themes of this novel are personal for John. The music and legacy of Rostropovich and Shostakovich thrum between the lines of this novel in a nod to John’s former career in music. His lifelong interest in classical literature introduced John to Solzhenitsyn and his experience as a barrister, sparked his desire to consider the political and legal implications of challenging the state

About The Author

John Tesarsch is the author of the acclaimed novels The Philanthropist and The Last Will and Testament of Henry Hoffman. He has degrees in music and law, and pursued a career as a cellist in Vienna before he turned to writing. After travelling widely John returned to Australia, where he lives with his wife and two children. He is also a barrister, and he lectures in law at the University of Melbourne. Dinner with the Dissidents is his third novel.


A smartly turned historical spy mystery that recreates an atmosphere of paranoia, repression and resistance. [Tesarsch] is an elegant writer with a gift for metaphor.’ The Age 

‘A multilayered and gripping novel. Tesarsch sheds light on one of Russia’s bravest and most brilliant of writers as well as on Australia’s uneasy present. I couldn’t put this book down.’ Lee Kofman 

‘A fierce work, worthy of the great Russians who fill its pages.’ Jock Serong 

‘A lively, charming and confident evocation of communist Russia and Australia, and a portrait of a particular writing life, meticulously composed and masterfully told.’ Alice Robinson