Books, Essays, Reviews, Journalism, Edited collections
– Bloodhound: Searching for my Father by Ramona Koval, Text Publishing 2015.
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.
“In early 2013 La Trobe University held a conference in honour of Professor Robert Manne, at which papers were presented by thinkers Manne has worked or argued with, and whom he most admires. State of the Nation compiles these original essays. They include innovative explorations of multiculturalism, social democracy, the future for Labor and the challenge of climate change. This is a book that shows how Australia is faring, good and bad, as it enters a new era of politics.”
‘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.’
“Journalist Ramona Koval has carved a reputation as a consummate book critic and interviewer. Her passion for storytelling and sharp analysis is turned inwards in Bloodhound: Searching for My Father, in which she asks herself: what is my life story? Bloodhound takes a darker turn than her previous memoir,By the Book, by focusing on her damaged relationship with her father, a Jew who emigrated from Poland to Australia after World War II. Koval suspects he might not be her biological father and this book follows the journey as she tries to solve this mystery. In her younger years, Koval worked as a geneticist. Her accessibly written forays into the science of DNA and familial lineages, and what makes us who we are, is beautifully intertwined with her meditations on identity and belonging. Koval also seamlessly blends first-hand testimonies and documents from the war into her family history. Throughout the book Koval notes that her archival research has started to affect her emotional wellbeing. Readers too will be deeply shocked by the atrocities outlined in Bloodhound. Such shock, however, is an important reminder that history should never be forgotten, and that books like Bloodhound should continue being written for generations to come.” Emily Laidlaw from Bookseller + Publisher
Fire and Ice: On Slow Reading, Being Serious and Following your Nose – Manning Clark Lecture, National Library of Australia, 2012
This is a fascinating book, with flashes of brilliance and scenes of piercing truth. Helen Garner is never boring; she is always an artist. And this gorgeous Text Classics edition is well worth buying not just for its striking cover, but for Ramona Koval’s illuminating introduction, which includes insights from Garner herself and a reflection on Cosmo Cosmolino’s place within her body of work.
Jo Case is senior writer/editor at the Wheeler Centre.
The Best Australian Essays 2011, Edited by Ramona Koval, Black Inc., 2011
Speaking Volumes: Conversations with remarkable writers, Scribe, 2010.
Jewish Cooking, Jewish Cooks, New Holland Press, 2009
In Praise of the Common Reader – Overland Lecture. Overland Number 189 2007
Tasting Life Twice – Conversations With Remarkable Writers. ABC Books 2005.
‘The Sarajevo Haggadah’. In The Best Australian Essays 2004. Edited Robert Dessaix. Black Ink 2004.
‘Pythagoras and The Turtle‘. In The Giffith Review. Summer 2003-2004
‘The Sarajevo Haggadah’. Brick Number 70 Winter 2002
Jewish Cooking, Jewish Cooks. New Holland Press 2001
Samovar.(a novel) Minerva – Heinemann 1996.
One to One. ABC Books 1993.
Too Many Walnuts. Heinemann 1993.
Eating Your Heart Out – Food, Shape and the Body Industry. Penguin 1985.
Thighs and Whispers in The Greatest Game, edited by Ross Fitzgerald and Ken Spillman. William Heinemann Australia 1988.
Review of Susan Swingler’s memoire House of Fiction, in the Sydney Morning Herald
Edited extract of my introduction to Cosmo Cosmolino by Helen Garner from SMH