I can’t tell you how how pleased I was to speak recently to  Robert Dessaix at Melbourne’s Wheeler Centre. It’s not just that his new book, What Days are for, is perfect. And it’s not just that his voice is singular – his knowledge, his wisdom, his sense of humour, his sharpness, his candour, his ways with […]

  This month’s Monthly Book should keep you intrigued for the summer – it’s a novel of love and grief, a dystopian travelogue, a triumph of imaginative fiction with interests in story, language, the body, the environment and the power of belief. My interview with Michel Faber is here, and the transcript appears below. Michel […]

The Narrow Road to the Deep North is Richard Flanagan’s wonderful novel which has just won this year’s Man Booker Prize! You can watch my interview with Richard for The Monthly Book  here or read the transcript below: Heroism, goodness, mateship, war, enmity, class, memory, self-delusion, passion, guilt, honour and loyalty – these are just some […]

Congratulations to Elizabeth Harrower for the wonderful feature on her work from James Wood in the New Yorker magazine this week. Here’s our conversation for The Monthly Book from October 2013. And below, my introduction to her wonderful novel The Catherine Wheel, just republished by Text in their Classics series. Playing with Fire by Ramona […]

The complex, funny, sharp and talented Australian writer, Morris Lurie, has died at the age of 75. Here is a transcript of my conversation with him recorded in October, 2008. Ramona Koval: Morris Lurie was last on The Book Show when he won in 2006 the $25,000 Patrick White Award, established after White won the […]

This month’s Monthly Book is Erik Jensen’s Acute Misfortune: The life and death of Adam Cullen (Black Inc.). You’ll find an interview with him here, and the transcript below. This is Jensen’s first book, a finely written account of the self-destructive, charismatic Australian painter who won the Archibald Prize for portraiture in 2000 and died […]

Playing with Fire by Ramona Koval   One of the great pleasures of my reading life has been the relatively recent discovery of the work of Elizabeth Harrower. I was a child when she was first published, and by the time I was a serious reader she had stopped submitting her work for publication, aside […]

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