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A Letter to Layla: Travels to Our Deep Past and Near Future

Here’s the advance notice for my new book, A Letter to Layla: Travels to our Deep Past and Near Future, due out with Text Publishing on 29th September, 2020. It’s been more than five years in the making, and I’m engaged in the final edits before printing. It’s very exciting to see it taking form […]

Robert Macfarlane, depths and landscapes.

My editor mentioned a book in his comments on one of the chapters of my new book (to be published next year) which I followed up greedily, as I knew the work of Robert Macfarlane. His book Underland: A Deep Time Journey indeed had important resonances for my own work and I encourage you to […]

Professor Deborah Lipstadt in conversation with me at the Sydney Opera House.

It was my pleasure to conduct a conversation at the Sydney Opera House with American writer and historian Deborah Lipstadt who is perhaps best known as the woman who was sued by Holocaust Denier David Irving, and who won the case after a legal struggle that stretched over six years. In Sydney for the Antidote […]

Harold Bloom, literary critic, dies at 89.

Harold Bloom, according to today’s New York Times, was frequently called the most notorious literary critic in America. Read this for a detailed account of his life and work. He thought Shakespeare was a god and that god was a literary invention written by an anonymous woman he referred to as “J”. I interviewed him in […]

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 […]

Revisiting The Cellar, the Hinges and the Copper Samovar.

Reading Robyn Ravlich’s Skywriting – making radio waves in preparation for our conversation at her Melbourne launch soon, how taken back I was to see a mention of a program I made with her help in the late 1990s. The Cellar, the Hinges and the Copper Samovar was my venture into the kind of complex […]

Launch of Skywriting by Robyn Ravlich

Skywriting: making radio waves is the memoir of ABC broadcaster Robyn Ravlich, from her beginnings as a trainee in 1975 to her development as an award-winning and much admired radiophonic feature maker. Sarah Ferguson calls it ‘A mesmerising memoir of Australia’s intellectual life told with the heart and vision of an artist.’ She’s be launching […]