All posts in Literature

Kookaburra walking

Balancing fact and fiction

Reproduced with permission from the Australian Book Review, the following is my comment on Elisabeth Holdsworth’s essay “If This Is a Jew” printed in the journal’s November 2017 issue. How […]

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If we had no story, what then?

I’ve often puzzled at the magic that happens with story that floats above and beyond mere words to produce a range of metaphysical properties with the power to form connections […]

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The write routine

bee-eaters brightwheel above this lucky country this uncertain world   The write routine. Blessed routine. And the greatest antidote I know to unremitting change. When once I said that I […]

High angle view of man standing on the beach

Writing mind games

How can I describe the last four months – no single adjective will do – my memory projects it back to me in slightly blurred frames like the transient sights […]

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Let’s talk writing: 2016 Sydney Writers’ Festival

So why go to a writers’ festival when you have to cope with crowds and the inevitable queues? As a recent letter in a local paper posited: why not just […]

Rope about to break

Riveting reading

Led by the trusted opinions of four or five of the Australian Book Review’s critics in their year-end round-up of best reads for 2015, how could I not pick up […]

december 2015

‘The Best Book I Ever Read?’

‘What’s the best book you ever read?’ I’m in a bookshop surrounded by a Christmas crush of ardent buyers and I look around and then down to find a young […]

October blog site

Writing Is a Conversation With Oneself

‘Writing is a conversation with oneself. Don’t you think?’ The tall, distinguished-looking gentleman in front of me in the book-signing queue swung around to murmur this to me. He smiled […]

August blog

Flying the flag for transnational literature

  O, my shoes are Japanese These trousers English, if you please On my head, red Russian hat – My heart’s Indian for all that. Hindi song: Mera Joota Hai Japani […]

Looking down on the piers of the Sydney Writers Festival 2015

Readers and Writers in Wonderland

‘What on earth’s a writers’ festival? And what’s Richard going to do while he’s there?’ When I’d mentioned we were going to Sydney for the Writers’ Festival, my friend was […]