Category interview

A conversation with Toni Morrison

“The Nobel prize meant a lot to me. It was a huge surprise. Very pleasant. I never thought of it as … although I think I said things that were expected of me about how I felt about its being awarded to my work, which I thought was obviously deserving, and it represented America, it […]

Dubravka Ugrešić – remembering Baba Yaga

One of the great joys of ageing is the way your mind becomes like a massive filing cabinet, much of the time simply a jumble of drawers and labels and yellowing manilla folders. But then, a miracle happens and you make a connection between an idea you are having and a perfectly apposite reference somewhere […]

Joseph Heller: Not today and not during this interview.

I see that there’s a remake TV series of Catch-22. Time, I think, to revisit my interview with its author, American novelist and memoirist Joseph Heller, conducted in New York in 1998, just a year before he died aged 76. Joseph Heller was a master of the absurd, so much so that the title of […]

Video interview with Sir Simon Schama, Melbourne May 2nd, 2019.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Sir Simon Schama ( @simon_schama ) on May 2nd 2019 at the Atheneum Theatre in Melbourne when he was a guest of the Wheeler Centre for their Mayhem series. You’ll find the link to the event below.  Sir Simon Schama is University Professor of Art History and History […]

Les Murray, Poet, 7/10/38 – 29/04/19

“I came back to go mad. That’s what you do if you’ve got old, unfinished business back in a place and you go back there, you’ll tend to deal with it. “ Poet Les Murray has died.  In 1997 I made a pair of radio programs on his work. I travelled to Bunyah, where he […]

Vale Amos Oz – 4.5.39 – 28.12.18

Deep in the midst of writing my new book, I seem only to surface in this blog whenever  a favourite writer with whom I have had the pleasure of sharing a conversation dies. Sadly, the subject of the following conversations is  Israeli novelist, essayist, short story writer and peace activist, Amos Oz, who died of cancer […]

Vale Justin Cartwright: 20/5/43 – 3/12/18

South African-born, London-based novelist, journalist and television producer Justin Cartwright died recently at the age of sevety-five. I was saddened to read his obituary in the Guardian newpaper. I have met and interviewed many writers over the years but Justin stood out as being open and warm whenever I had contact with him. His parents […]