Anthony Albanese and Karen Middleton in conversation with Alex Sloan

Albanese: Telling it Straight is Karen Middleton's new biography of Anthony Albanese. Through interviews with more than 70 friends, relatives, colleagues, associates and adversaries, and more than 40 interviews with Albanese himself, respected political journalist Karen Middleton has gained unprecedented insight into the man behind the politician; a beloved son brought-up with a strong sense of social justice, a political activist with a firebrand reputation; a charismatic young leader; an independent thinker who antagonized both the soft-left and the right of his own party; a strategist with a remarkable memory and an uncanny knack for numbers.

Middleton charts the trajectory of Albanese's political career detailing the student shenanigans and factional power-plays of his rise through Young Labor; the influence of his mentor, Tom Uren; the manoeuvring ahead of his preselection - and eventual election - as Member for Grayndler in Sydney's inner west; his years in Opposition, and finally, the role he played in the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd leadership spills. But above all, it is the deeply moving story of one man's search for answers to the universal questions of identity and belonging.

Middleton reveals family secrets as Albanese, until his teenage years, believed his mother had been widowed before his birth. This is the story - revealed for the first time - of the random events and extraordinary coincidences that finally led to an emotional family reunion. Middleton will also reflect on the complexities of writing a biography when the subject is still active in public life.

Karen Middleton is Chief Political Correspondent for The Saturday Paper. Karen has worked in the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery since 1989 and previously, she was Chief Political Correspondent for SBS Television. Karen appears on ABC TV's political talk show Insidersand is a contributor to ABC radio, Monocle24 Radio UK and Radio New Zealand.

Alex Sloan is the host of the Afternoons program on 666 ABC Canberra.  

Books will be on sale thanks to the University Co-Op bookshop. Signings will take place from 5.30pm and after the talk. 

This event is part of the ANU/The Canberra Times meet the author series.