books readings julie bindel
(Image: Unsplash/Jessica Ruscello)

Poor Mark Rubbo. The owner of the Readings chain of bookshops has been at the centre of Melbourne’s cultural life for 50 years. But this week he’s found himself stuck in the middle of an ideological war.

On one side is genderqueer young adult fiction author Alison Evans. On the other is 58-year-old English feminist writer Julie Bindel. Both have been invited to speak at Readings, which hosts author events most nights of the week. Bindel spoke at an event in 2018 while Evans, along with transgender author Juno Dawson, is scheduled to host an event in a few weeks time, on February 25.

Evans, an award-winning Melbourne author who writes queer sci-fi for young adults, tweeted on Monday: “I agreed to do this event providing Readings publicly apologise for hosting Julie Bindel. Where is this apology?”