Ramona Koval is a writer, journalist, broadcaster and editor. She is also an Honorary Fellow at the Centre for Advancing Journalism, University of Melbourne.

Broadcasting for ABC Radio National she presented The Book Show 2006 – 2011, Books and Writing 1995 – 2005 and on ABC 774 Melbourne, Drive on RN 1993 – 1994, and The Ramona Koval Program 1988 – 1992.

Her programs were broadcast internationally through Radio Australia, and podcast on the internet.

She has written reviews, features and columns for newspapers including The Age and The Weekend Australian, writing on issues of the day. She has made documentary features for radio, which have been broadcast both by the ABC and the BBC.

Transcripts of her interviews have appeared in international newspapers, magazines and in digital form, and she has been a guest interviewer at International literary festivals in Edinburgh, Montreal, Berlin, Cheltenham, Auckland, Wellington and all over Australia.

She is the author of a novel, Samovar (Heinemann), of collections of interviews, most recently Speaking Volumes – conversations with remarkable writers (Scribe, also translated into Chinese and Portuguese), of a Jewish cook book, Jewish Cooking, Jewish Cooks (New Holland) and she edited The Best Australian Essays 2011 and The Best Australian Essays 2012 (Black Inc)

She has written introductions for the Text Classics publications of Helen Garner’s Cosmo Cosmolino (2012)  and Elizabeth Harrower’s The Catherine Wheel (2014).

She has worked as an academic at RMIT University and the University of Melbourne, and before that as a microbiologist and geneticist.

She was Staff Elected Director of the ABC Board ( 2002 – 2006), and has been a judge of the Walkley Awards for Journalism, and the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards. She has served on the board of the Australian Book Review and was a member of the International Advisory Board of the Blue Metropolis Literary Festival in Montreal, Canada. In 2001 she held a Goethe Institute Fellowship in Berlin and was a writer-in-residence at The Australia Centre, Berlin.

Her latest book is Bloodhound: Searching for my Father (Text) (2015)

Her previous book was By the Book: A reader’s guide to life (Text) (2012)

You can find her latest interviews in The Saturday Paper here.


On Bloodhound: Searching for my Father, Text Publishing

An intriguing and emotional journey, at times the memoir reads like a highly acclaimed literary mystery as Koval enlightens us in a very warm congenial tone. Identity and belonging and eventually the truth. Unputdownable, I savoured every page. A truly evocative read. Clare Calvet, Nightlife, ABC Local Radio.

On By the Book: A Reader’s Guide to Life, Text Publishing

‘She’s a shining presence in the world of literature, here in Australia and right across the globe.’

‘The book reads smoothly, it flows along from mood to mood, full of wit and beauty and grace.’

‘Her voice is always recognisable, invigorating, familiar to us and greatly loved: the voice of [a] highly literate woman.’

Helen Garner

” …By the Book: A Reader’s Guide to Life [is] an irresistible study of the symbiotic relationship,for the bookish, between life and books. The subject matter ranges from the simplicities of childhood reading to the complexities of interviewing great writers. The voice is easily recognisable as the one we know from her decades in radio: generous, warm, and fearless.”

Kerryn Goldsworthy, Books of the Year, Australian Book Review, December 2012 – January 2013, No.347

“The excitement with which Koval still approaches each new book, plunging in “head first, heart deep”, furnishes the last words of this urbane and enlightening work of her own.”

Peter Pierce editor of the Cambridge History of Australian Literature, reviewing By the Book: A Reader’s Guide to Life, for The Australian, 27 October 2012  


This is a terrific read for any bibliophile, recommended especially for anyone who loved Francis Spufford’s The Child That Books BuiltThe Virago Book of Women Travellers, Jane Smiley’s Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel, or any of Nick Hornby’s reading diaries.

Nudge Reviewer Rating: 

– See more at: http://www.nudgemenow.com/article/by-the-book-a-readers-guide-to-life-by-ramona-koval/#sthash.W6YRLYG9.dpuf




One comment

  1. royston hayes · · Reply

    The lovely tribute from Helen is wonderful recognition of your work over so many genres and the Bob Dylan song from long ago always reminds of only one Ramona, and if only Benny Netanyhu
    could cajole you to the Knesset any hostilities would soon abate.

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