Tag Archives: Essays

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 […]

Remembering Günter Grass…

Truth shines up through the cracks 16 September 2006 The Age The idea of an author rarely matches the reality, but character flaws are still insightful, writes Ramona Koval. I WAS IN EDINBURGH A FEW weeks ago, working at the International Book Festival, and I was called on by my ABC colleagues to report on what […]

A conversation with Robert Dessaix

I can’t tell you how how pleased I was to speak recently to  Robert Dessaix at Melbourne’s Wheeler Centre. It’s not just that his new book, What Days are for, is perfect. And it’s not just that his voice is singular – his knowledge, his wisdom, his sense of humour, his sharpness, his candour, his ways with […]

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 […]

David Malouf at 80 – The Monthly Book – April 2014

You’ll find the video of my interview with David Malouf here , and the transcript below. On the occasion of David Malouf’s 80th birthday, his writing is a reason for celebration. It’s not that he should get a prize for just turning up day after day for 80 years but that he continues to nourish us with his […]

The Monthly Book for June: Night Games by Anna Krien

Watch my conversation with writer Anna Krien about her new book Night Games. It’s our Monthly Book for June,  a razor-sharp analysis of how sport reflects our culture. The book centres on an incident that occurred in the wake of the 2010 AFL Grand Final: after Collingwood’s post-match celebrations, a young woman accuses a young […]

My interview with Jared Diamond on The World Until Yesterday

Available now here.

Here’s The Monthly Book for May – THE WORLD UNTIL YESTERDAY – JARED DIAMOND

How many times have you read about advanced industrial cultures like ours being in a state of crisis? In spite of breathtaking medical heroics and compared to small-scale traditional societies, we no longer know how to eat properly in order to keep healthy; we have forgotten how to care for our infants, feeding them with […]

Thinking for Yourself: A conference in honour of Professor Robert Manne

At this conference, held at La Trobe university, I was amongst many writers and academics who were invited to speak about the work of Robert Manne in the many and varied fields in which he has made a contribution. Our panel was called “The Public Sphere”. This is an edited version of what I said: […]

A deeply thoughtful review of Best Oz Essays 2012 by writer David Sornig

What a pleasure it is to read a review like this one, where the reviewer seems to have been inside your head as you made your decisions about which essays to choose of all that were available, and how to place them so that they would sing to one another, sometimes sweetly, sometimes in discordant […]