Category essays

Panel on writing creative non-fiction

I haven’t posted much lately as I am researching and writing my new book. However, sometimes I do emerge from my study to take part in events such as this one. It’s fun to talk with other writers about what we do and how and why. This panel was convened at Melbourne’s Wheeler Centre, and […]

A conversation with Robert Dessaix

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 […]

James Wood in the New Yorker discovers Elizabeth Harrower

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 […]

Elizabeth Harrower’s The Catherine Wheel (now a Text Classic) – my introduction

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 […]

David Malouf at 80 – The Monthly Book – April 2014

You’ll find the video of my interview with David Malouf here , and the transcript below. On the occasion of David Malouf’s 80th birthday, his writing is a reason for celebration. It’s not that he should get a prize for just turning up day after day for 80 years but that he continues to nourish us with his […]

On imaginary friends: Marguerite, Robert and me.

Whenever it happened, it came as a surprise. The writer I was about to interview would   murmur that they were deeply reluctant to speak about themselves. I would show them their own book and say that they had divulged the most intimate things already. Their books told us what they were thinking about and how […]

On Turning

This is my essay commissioned by Hannah Mathews for her Action/Response project for Dance Massive. Ten artists used the essay as an inspiration for their own works, to be performed in the streets of North Melbourne on Friday 22nd March, 2013. I’m looking forward to seeing what they have imagined and made.    On Turning Here on […]