“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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Nobel and Booker Prize winner VS Naipaul has died at the age of eighty-five at his home in London. I never interviewed him myself, but I did interview his biographer Patrick French at the 2008 Edinburgh International Book Festival. Patrick French has won awards for his biography of the explorer Francis Younghusband and for his […]

Australian writer Gerald Murnane is being mentioned in despatches as a contender for the Nobel Prize for Literature. Of course, many are called and few are chosen and it seems that each year the winner is somewhat of a surprise. Nonetheless,  Gerald Murnane certainly has a singular voice, as evidenced by the transcript below of […]

Peter Temple has died  a few days before his 72nd birthday. My friend, crime writer Shane Maloney, reports that Peter had been diagnosed with a brain tumour six months ago. I first met Peter in the very early 1980s when he was editor of a new magazine called Australian Society. I wrote one my first […]

Ursula K. Le Guin died aged 88 on 22nd January 2018 at her home in Portland, Oregon, USA. Here’s a conversation I had with her on Thursday 24 April 2008. Ramona Koval: Ursula K Le Guin is one of the best and most prolific writers of science fiction and fantasy in the world. She’s published […]