Category interview

Morris West, a “singer of forgotten songs” republished and a conversation revisited.

News today that the back catalogue of one of Australia’s best selling writers, Morris West (26 April 1916 – 9 October 1999) has been reissued by Allen and Unwin. All of his titles were  out of print.  I went to interview him at his home on Sydney’s northern beaches in 1998 (I think) on the […]

The late Helen Dunmore talks with me and Jim Crace on The Writing Life.

English novelist and poet Helen Dunmore has died aged 64. I only met her once for this conversation at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in 2004. With Birmingham writer Jim Crace  we spoke of their different routines and talismans and attitudes to the blank page in the solitary space of the writer’s room. And rereading […]

Vale John Clarke, 1948-2017

My friend John Clarke was a brilliant satirist, but many forget what a deeply analytical mind he had for one of his great loves – poetry. He published collections of parodies and in the following interview from 2008, he had just been appointed Patron of the Australian Poetry Centre. From parody to patronage: John Clarke […]

Vale American writer Paula Fox

The New York Times has just announced the death of American writer Paula Fox. “Paula Fox, a distinguished writer for children and adults whose work illuminated lives filled with loss, dislocation and abandonment, conditions she knew firsthand from a very early age, died on Wednesday in Brooklyn. She was 93 Ms. Fox wrote a half-dozen […]

Vale Professor Jill Roe, writer and historian

Emeritus Professor Jill Roe died recently (12/01.2017). One of the highlights of her work was to produce a substantial biography of Stella Miles Franklin, the author of My Brilliant Career, who herself  left a legacy that’s remembered every year in the Miles Franklin Award for Australian Writing and the more recently established Stella Prize for Women’s […]

Vale John Berger: here’s our conversation on home, looking for refuge and the art of living.

John Berger who died on Monday January 2nd was a novelist, storyteller, poet, screenwriter, and art critic. His 1972 BBC series and book Ways of Seeing made an enormous impact as a reaction to Kenneth Clark’s series on art Civilisation. Ten years ago when he was 80, the book which was the subject of our conversation was Hold […]

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 […]