Tag Archives: writing

Harold Bloom, literary critic, dies at 89.

Harold Bloom, according to today’s New York Times, was frequently called the most notorious literary critic in America. Read this for a detailed account of his life and work. He thought Shakespeare was a god and that god was a literary invention written by an anonymous woman he referred to as “J”. I interviewed him in […]

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 […]

Les Murray, Poet, 7/10/38 – 29/04/19

“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 […]

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 […]

Morris West, a “singer of forgotten songs” republished and a conversation revisited.

News today that the back catalogue of one of Australia’s best selling writers, Morris West (26 April 1916 – 9 October 1999) has been reissued by Allen and Unwin. All of his titles were  out of print.  I went to interview him at his home on Sydney’s northern beaches in 1998 (I think) on the […]

The late Helen Dunmore talks with me and Jim Crace on The Writing Life.

English novelist and poet Helen Dunmore has died aged 64. I only met her once for this conversation at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in 2004. With Birmingham writer Jim Crace  we spoke of their different routines and talismans and attitudes to the blank page in the solitary space of the writer’s room. And rereading […]

Vale American writer Paula Fox

The New York Times has just announced the death of American writer Paula Fox. “Paula Fox, a distinguished writer for children and adults whose work illuminated lives filled with loss, dislocation and abandonment, conditions she knew firsthand from a very early age, died on Wednesday in Brooklyn. She was 93 Ms. Fox wrote a half-dozen […]