Tag Archives: writer

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 André Brink, 1935-2015

News of the death of South African writer André Brink, who died at the age of seventy-nine on a flight from Belgium after being awarded a honorary doctorate. He was still teaching Literature at the University of Capetown. When I last interviewed him, he talked about his book A Fork in the Road. The memoir draws […]

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 […]

Vale P.D. James – English crime writer, 3 August 1920 – 27 November 2014

P.D.James has died at her home in Oxford  aged 94. She was a very fine writer in her genre and a most delightful writer to interview. Here’s my last conversation with her,  conducted on the occasion of her ninetieth birthday, in August 2010. Ramona Koval: PD James’s first novel, Cover Her Face, published in 1962 when […]

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 […]

The Monthly Book – November 2014, Michel Faber’s The Book of Strange New Things

  This month’s Monthly Book should keep you intrigued for the summer – it’s a novel of love and grief, a dystopian travelogue, a triumph of imaginative fiction with interests in story, language, the body, the environment and the power of belief. My interview with Michel Faber is here, and the transcript appears below. Michel […]

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 […]

The Monthly Book for October – Erik Jensen’s Acute Misfortune: The Life and Death of Adam Cullen

This month’s Monthly Book is Erik Jensen’s Acute Misfortune: The life and death of Adam Cullen (Black Inc.). You’ll find an interview with him here, and the transcript below. This is Jensen’s first book, a finely written account of the self-destructive, charismatic Australian painter who won the Archibald Prize for portraiture in 2000 and died […]

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 – September 2014 – Helen Garner’s This House of Grief

The Monthly Book for September is master storyteller Helen Garner’s new non-fiction work: the devastating, utterly compelling This House of Grief (Text Publishing). Here’s my interview with Helen Garner conducted at the Opening night event of the Melbourne Writers Festival. (The transcript appears below.) Helen Garner begins This House of Grief in a time-honoured way, with […]