"I expect you’ll be becoming a schoolmaster, sir. That’s what most of the gentlemen does, sir, that gets sent down for indecent behaviour.” Evelyn Waugh, Decline and Fall
Posts tagged "Australia"
A memory of memory

A memory of memory

Memory is our own unreliable narrator. It forgets things that matter and recalls other events that never happened. It can slip away like receding mist or haunt us in a perennial nightmare. To the extent that they track selves through time, all novels are about memory. But some are more concerned with the notion than...
In service of the voice

In service of the voice

Tim Baker’s debut novel, the much-discussed thriller Fever City, follows the desperate efforts of a disgraced ex-cop and a ruthless mob hitman to rescue the kidnapped son of America’s richest man. But the two men soon become ensnared by a sinister cabal intent on seizing power by killing President Kennedy. Where are you now? At...
Marjorie Barnard: ‘The Persimmon Tree’

Marjorie Barnard: ‘The Persimmon Tree’

I have so many favourite stories! As I wander through them in my mind, the styles are so different, but each one has me excited me in some way. Sometimes it is perception, seeing beyond the familiar or the surface of things; sometimes it is the use of language; sometimes it is empathetic characterisation; sometimes...
Christos Tsiolkas: Privilege and shame

Christos Tsiolkas: Privilege and shame

Christos Tsolkias’s follow-up to the international bestseller The Slap tells the story of a boy swimmer named Daniel Kelly who comes so close to glory then spirals into unbridled aggression and self-hatred. Where The Slap saw a single act of violence and its repercussions witnessed from eight distinct viewpoints in individual chapters, Barracuda opens with...
The tiger who came to stay

The tiger who came to stay

The main character of my first novel, The Night Guest, is a seventy-five-year-old woman named Ruth. People often ask me how it was that I came to write a book about an elderly woman. I assume they ask this because I’m not elderly; this leap of imagination, from young to old, seems particularly hard to...
Terra Australis

Terra Australis

To begin with, the legend goes something like this: a nation born from a shipful of convicts. A gaggle of criminals sentenced to transportation who washed up onshore, knowing neither how nor why, who settled largely hostile territories and wound up staying, all while disregarding the indigenous peoples there already. A bit vague as stories...
The author project

The author project

Graeme Simsion’s debut novel The Rosie Project tells the story of Don Tillman, a genetics professor with undiagnosed Asperger’s, and his awkward attempts to find love via a highly personalised psychometric questionnaire. Mark Reynolds fires off some questions about his mid-life reinvention as an internationally bestselling novelist, a transition that began when he sold his...
Coconuts and random acts

Coconuts and random acts

Albert Alla’s debut novel Black Chalk is an unsettling exploration of passion and modern morality in which the sole witness and survivor of a school shooting in the Oxfordshire countryside returns to the scene of the devastation after eight meandering years searching for meaning and reconciliation in big cities and on small islands. He was...
Nathalie

Nathalie

The plane was held up in Lomé. Mona didn’t bother leaving the house. She checked that Miguel was sleeping. He was: the slow fan wheeled above him, his hand clenched a shroud of mosquito netting which she loosened and let drop. She went out to smoke on the terrace, the city air a giant belch...
Hannah Kent: From Adelaide to Icelandic noir

Hannah Kent: From Adelaide to Icelandic noir

Hannah Kent’s dark and impressive debut novel Burial Rites picks at the bones of a 200-year-old Icelandic story of murder, mistrust and local intrigue. Determined to become a writer since long before she left high school, her journey to success might easily have taken a different turn, she tells Mark Reynolds. Although Iceland – and...