Johanna Adorján’s An Exclusive Love

Translated from the German by Anthea Bell (Aus, US, UK) Text Publishing, September 2010 9781921656569 Johanna Adorján’s grandparents took their own lives in October 1991. In this reserved and moving book Adorján pieces together the last day of their lives, interspersing this narrative with details of her grandparents' pasts, pieces of her own story, and musings on various related … Continue reading Johanna Adorján’s An Exclusive Love

Meeting Alex Miller part one: on the origins of a contemporary story

Recently I interviewed Alex Miller about his new novel Lovesong  (Aus, US) for Readings Monthly. As many of you know, Miller is not only one of Australia’s finest authors, but he's one of my personal favourites, so I took this wonderful opportunity to extend my conversation with him to his other works, as well as writing and life … Continue reading Meeting Alex Miller part one: on the origins of a contemporary story

A few moments of history, horror, and Kafka in Prague

This is an edited extract from an essay I am working on about my trip to Europe early this year. I have never seen buildings so old. The aged stone of Edinburgh or Venice, the disturbingly mismatched architecture of London, Oslo and Berlin. Ancient blackened churches rise out of the steel, gripping defiantly to tradition. The … Continue reading A few moments of history, horror, and Kafka in Prague

The Reader by Bernhard Schlink – an 'Off the Shelf' book review with travel commentary

Translated by Carol Brown Janeway, Phoenix, 1997, 9780753804704 (Aus, US)  The Reader was experienced traveling by train through Europe, and recalled when faced with the ‘Topography of Terror’ monument in Berlin (the site of the SS headquarters), and Anne Frank’s House in Amsterdam. It is a coming of age story simply told. Michael becomes involved with … Continue reading The Reader by Bernhard Schlink – an 'Off the Shelf' book review with travel commentary