Writing & News

People who Lunch: essays on work, leisure and loose living by Sally Olds


Communes, polyamory, and the history of the fraternal society officially known as the Royal Antediluvian Order of the Buffaloes — aka the Buffalo Club — are among the subjects probed by Sally Olds in her first book. A collection of six incisive and intellectually dextrous essays, it sees the Melbourne-based writer and critic considering topics such as clickbait, clubbing and cryptocurrency investors, all united by an interest in communities, “post-work” politics and the nature of leisure and labour in the precarious current moment. Particularly compelling are the moments when Olds trains her sharp, playful gaze on herself, as in “For Discussion and Resolution”, her essay about an unsuccessful experiment in non-monogamy with an ex-partner.

Gemma Nesbit in The West Australian (October 15, 2022)

These are essays are about topics that matter. Olds moreover has the gumption to write elegantly—her subjects vividly drawn, her chronicling of curious human and non-human activities entertaining, though every detail is deliberate. People Who Lunch is mind-blowing, essential reading.

Dion Kagan in Meanjin (October)