It was a wonderful evening – packed with ex-patriot Australians, a ‘token pom’ (as Winton described the lone British questioner), and me. He’d come from Australia to Waterstones at Trafalgar Square to speak about his new book, a collection of essays, entitled The Boy Behind the Curtain. The event was compered by Philip Hensher who has… Continue reading Making Himself Up: Tim Winton
Rail trips across Australia’s vast state borders had always held all the elements of narrative for Astley: human beings in a small space forging strange alliances, all with a rueful acceptance of their own banality. In a railway carriage anyone could be “people freak” – Astley’s favourite term for herself – could listen in on… Continue reading Why I Write. Why I Read.
I’ve briefly mentioned Robin Klein on this blog before, but today is her 81st birthday and so I feel she deserves a post of her own. She was the first author I ever wrote to (way back in 1986) and her friendliness and openness made me completely believe that a writing life was possible. There’s… Continue reading Your First Favourite Author
It’s the most brilliant pleasure to discover an affinity with a writer’s work but it’s even sweeter when you dare to harness an affinity with the writer himself. When I was a young, aspiring writer in Australia, the young, accomplished writer whose work I valued most was Matthew Condon. Foremost, I loved the humour and pathos of… Continue reading bookbybook 20: Matthew Condon
When I first met Ursula Dubosarsky, I didn’t know she was a writer. She was a (very young) Latin teacher at my secondary school. Then, suddenly (a bit like something from one of her novels) she left, and just a few weeks later, a copy of her first novel, High Hopes, arrived in the post… Continue reading bookbybook 17: Ursula Dubosarsky