Australian writers · children's books · classics · Favourite writers · prizes and awards · rereading

Your First Favourite Author

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

authors · children's books · classics · Favourite writers · rereading

Welcome Back to the House …

Dame Penelope Lively has been a spokesperson for Penguin’s latest batch of A Puffin Book titles in which her 1974 novel, The House in Norham Gardens, appears. She is justifiably pleased to see her book reissued for new readers on a list which was the bedrock of children’s reading when her own children (she is… Continue reading Welcome Back to the House …

children's books · classics · Favourite writers · prizes and awards · rereading

Forty Years On

Every book Jan Mark wrote, and everything she said, was a lesson for me. And she was willing to share because she was also a brilliant teacher. Visits to her house were long and full of good wine and food and conversation. I miss her now she’s gone but I still have nearly all her… Continue reading Forty Years On

classics · Favourite writers

Channelling My Inner Virginia

It took a call-out from Penguin’s elegant ‘book club centred around a magazine’, The Happy Reader, to an evening discussing Mrs Dalloway that encouraged me to read Virginia Woolf’s novel. I confess: I’ve never attended a book group. But the occasion was a pleasure from start to finish. We talked about the novel in its… Continue reading Channelling My Inner Virginia