Tag Archives: fiction

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 […]

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 […]

Vale Justin Cartwright: 20/5/43 – 3/12/18

South African-born, London-based novelist, journalist and television producer Justin Cartwright died recently at the age of seventy-five. I was saddened to read his obituary in the Guardian newspaper. 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 […]

Gerald Murnane – a date with destiny

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 […]

Vale Australian writer, Peter Temple, 1946-2018

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 […]

Vale Ursula K. Le Guin, science fiction and fantasy writer and genre bender.

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 […]

Vale American postmodern writer William Gass

The New York Times reports: William H. Gass, a proudly postmodern author who valued form and language more than literary conventions like plot and character and who had a broad influence on other experimental writers of the 1960s, ’70s and beyond, died on Wednesday in St. Louis. He was 93. Here is a transcript of […]

Interview: French Writer Marie Darrieussecq

Today I was reminded of this interview with Marie Darrieussecq about her novel Tom is Dead. She is a guest at the forthcoming Sydney Writers  Festival. So following the previous blog post on writing in dark territory, here is another in a similar vein – writing about the death of a child. Here’s a link […]

Vale Terry Pratchett: 28/04/48 – 12/03/15

Sir Terry Pratchett has died aged sixty-six , eight years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He spoke to me on 18/04/11 in Melbourne where he was particularly interested in conveying his feelings and thoughts about his illness and the idea of his impending death. Here is  the audio and below, a transcript of our […]

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 […]