Tag Archives: Australian novel

Vale Colleen McCullough, 1/6/1937 – 29/1/2015

Writer Colleen McCullough, one of Australia’s most successful writers of popular fiction has died  at the age of seventy-seven. The Thorn Birds which was published in 1977 was her most well-known work, but she was known too for her historical series on the Roman Republic and her crime novels too. Here below is my interview from 1995 which […]

Richard Flanagan wins Man Booker Prize!

The Narrow Road to the Deep North is Richard Flanagan’s wonderful novel which has just won this year’s Man Booker Prize! You can watch my interview with Richard for The Monthly Book  here or read the transcript below: Heroism, goodness, mateship, war, enmity, class, memory, self-delusion, passion, guilt, honour and loyalty – these are just some […]

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 […]

Vale Morris Lurie: 30/10/1938 – 8/10/2014

The complex, funny, sharp and talented Australian writer, Morris Lurie, has died at the age of 75. Here is a transcript of my conversation with him recorded in October, 2008. Ramona Koval: Morris Lurie was last on The Book Show when he won in 2006 the $25,000 Patrick White Award, established after White won the […]

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 […]

The Monthly Book – June 2014 – The Claimant by Janette Turner Hospital

Here’s the latest Monthly Book interview (transcript below): Janette Turner Hospital talking about her new novel The Claimant. It’s a book about spies and collaborators, about art and religion, and its focus is a fictional court case in the late 20th century over a family fortune and the search for a lost heir. Its concern […]

The Monthly Book – November 2013 – Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas

Here’s the video and a transcript of my interview with Christos Tsiolkas, author of Barracuda. The Monthly Book for November is  a big-hearted social realist novel set in Melbourne. You might have read Tsiolkas’ previous novel, 2008’s The Slap; his analysis of middle-class Australian culture and its relationship to the subcultures around it was a worldwide […]

Video and transcript of my interview with Richard Flanagan on his novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North

The Narrow Road to the Deep North is Richard Flanagan’s novel which I have chosen as November’s Monthly Book. You can watch it here or read the transcript below: Heroism, goodness, mateship, war, enmity, class, memory, self-delusion, passion, guilt, honour and loyalty – these are just some of the themes in this month’s Monthly Book, […]

Interview with philosopher Rai Gaita on J.M.Coetzee’s The Childhood of Jesus

Here’s the video of this interview – the transcript appears below: RAMONA KOVAL: Well, it’s wonderful to be welcoming Rai Gaita to the Monthly Book to speak about our first choice for 2013, and that’s JM Coetzee’s The Childhood of Jesus. Now, normally, Rai, We’d be speaking to the author, but, as you know, JM Coetzee […]

My interview with writer Carrie Tiffany – The Monthly Book: August ’13

Carrie Tiffiany’s Mateship with Birds is The Monthly Book for August. Watch it here, or read the transcript below. Introductory notes: Carrie Tiffany’s inaugural Stella Prize–winning novel, Mateship with Birds, is set in the 1950s around Cohuna, a town in northern Victoria, and named after a 1922 book of bird notes by Australian writer Alec Chisholm. […]