Book Reviews

Book Reviews2019-06-20T08:07:54+08:00

Loving Hardy

By |August 11th, 2019|

English novelist Thomas Hardy was an unlikely role model for a book-obsessed young girl growing up in India, but I credit Hardy, and the Romantic poets, with my initiation into writing. Something about Hardy’s grimness appealed enormously. I named the hero in my own novel after Hardy’s Gabriel, that laconic [...]

Gardens of Earthly Delights

By |February 24th, 2019|

On an exceptionally kind February afternoon in Perth yesterday, I had the pleasure of speaking to Annamaria Weldon and Moreno Giovannoni about goddesses and fireflies. The late great Mary Oliver wrote this: 'creative work needs solitude. It needs concentration without interruption. It needs the whole sky to fly in.' Both [...]

The Book Pile – 2018

By |December 27th, 2018|

Globally and personally 2018 was a difficult year, so I built a wall of books and retreated. Here are some of the books I read, and some that I abandoned. This year I managed to get the balance between Australian and international books right, I think.   Behrouz Boochani's No Friend [...]

A Ministry, a Garden, a God

By |May 19th, 2018|

I read a lot of books. For research mainly, or so I tell others and myself but also for pleasure, for comfort and to know myself better. I read fabulous books and ordinary ones, heartbreaking books and healing ones, smart books and hilarious ones, and I have a system of shelving [...]

Books on Shelves

By |January 12th, 2018|

When a friend sent me a photo of my novel on her shelf, my preoccupation with books and how they appear on shelves, inspired me to find pictures of The Historian's Daughter on various shelves, in bookshops, libraries and homes. Those who know me understand my idiosyncratic shelving of my books [...]

Bearing Witness

By |November 22nd, 2017|

Google describes bearing witness as a term that refers to sharing our experiences with others, most notably in the communication to others of traumatic experiences. This term has been on my mind most of this year as I grapple with the hashtags of empathy and wondering why I had no desire [...]

Books I loved in 2017

By |November 14th, 2017|

   I started the year as I always do, with a selection of books by Australian writers, this time because I was fortunate enough to be on a writing panel with Carmel Bird, Josephine Wilson and Nicole Sinclair at the Perth Writers Festival. Also on one of my panels was Rajith [...]

Taboo by Kim Scott

By |September 28th, 2017|

Taboo starts with an out-of-control semi trailer freewheeling down a street, a hillside, spilling wheat, two humans and a skeleton as it crests to a stop in ‘massacre place.’ It is a powerful beginning tempered with a warning from its author – ‘this is no fairy tale, it is drawn from [...]