Writer Colleen McCullough, one of Australia’s most successful writers of popular fiction has died  at the age of seventy-seven. The Thorn Birds which was published in 1977 was her most well-known work, but she was known too for her historical series on the Roman Republic and her crime novels too. Here below is my interview from 1995 which […]

I’m currently putting the finishing touches to my new book Bloodhound: searching for my father  (Text) to be published on May 1st, so I haven’t been able to blog much. But here’s a blast from the recent past – In this instalment of Reading on Vocation, I introduce the reading habits and histories of three noted scientists […]

P.D.James has died at her home in Oxford  aged 94. She was a very fine writer in her genre and a most delightful writer to interview. Here’s my last conversation with her,  conducted on the occasion of her ninetieth birthday, in August 2010. Ramona Koval: PD James’s first novel, Cover Her Face, published in 1962 when […]

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 […]

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