Now reading: War with the Newts, by Karel Capek

Karel Capek, War with the Newts (1936) Looking for something new and different to read, I came across Slawomir Mrozek’s marvellous little collection, The elephant. That book is part of Penguin’s Central European Classics series, and the inside jacket marketing of the other books in the series led me to, among other authors, Capek. Thankfully,…

Now reading: Talking to my country, by Stan Grant

Stan Grant, Talking to my country (2016) The marketing line on the cover of this book could instead be a bold subtitle: ‘the book that every Australian should read’. Well, is it? I heard Stan Grant speak at this year’s Newcastle Writers Festival, unaware of his article in The Guardian that was inspired by the continued…

Newcastle here I come

I have been selected unanimously as the inaugural Regional Emerging Writer in Residence for the Newcastle Writers Festival 2016. Commencing Tuesday 22 March, I will spend two weeks living and working in Newcastle’s renowned contemporary arts space, The Lock-Up, working on my debut novel, an outback gothic adventure with the working title This landscape of failure.…

Now reading: Text OzLit Classics

For Christmas I read Geordie Williamson’s The burning library and a sea-side sinkhole opened up in my reading list. A sinkhole of neglect for many of Australia’s now-unknown literary gems. Yes, I had read Patrick White’s marvellous novels Voss, Tree of Man and The vivisector; Randolph Stow’s great Tourmaline; as well as works by Thomas Keneally,…

Now reading: The outsider, by Albert Camus

Albert Camus, The outsider (1942 / 1982 English translation) This short novel had a profound affect on me when I first read it as a teenager (more than 30 years ago). And still does after multiple re-readings. It begins with perfect indifference. Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don’t know.  To Meursault, it doesn’t matter when. She…