Home, strange home: Fishing for Tigers by Emily Maguire

Picador, 9781742610832 September 2012 (buy paperback, ebook) A version of this article was originally published in The Big Issue no. 415. Somewhere around the six-week mark of Emily Maguire’s 2008 visit to Hanoi, she realised she was in love: 'Actual love—the kind where you wake up smiling in anticipation, and you fall asleep deeply, deeply happy every … Continue reading Home, strange home: Fishing for Tigers by Emily Maguire

Abstract extracts from my travel journal: June to August 2011

This is cross-posted from Southerly, where I've been blogging in December. This post is partly a peek into my process. If you read more of my writing you may notice thoughts, imagery, themes popping up that originated from this trip and my recordings. But I like to think these carefully chosen ‘abstract extracts’ – deliberately taken … Continue reading Abstract extracts from my travel journal: June to August 2011

Tempeh matters: the launch of Janet De Neefe’s Bali: The Food of My Island Home

This is cross-posted from Southerly, where I am blogging in December. Recently I attended the launch of Janet De Neefe’s new cookbook Bali: The Food of My Island Home. De Neefe moved to Bali 26 years ago after falling in love with the place and with a local man. She has founded two restaurants in Ubud: Casa … Continue reading Tempeh matters: the launch of Janet De Neefe’s Bali: The Food of My Island Home

The Invention of Paris: A History in Footsteps by Eric Hazan reviewed for Bookslut

My review of Eric Hazan's The Invention of Paris: A History in Footsteps (translated by David Fernbach) can be found in the July issue of Bookslut. I completed the review while in Paris a few weeks ago. It begins: 'I'm sitting in an apartment in the twelfth arrondissement of Paris, and because I've finished Eric … Continue reading The Invention of Paris: A History in Footsteps by Eric Hazan reviewed for Bookslut

Shakespeare and Co., Paris

Despite seeing Notre Dame, the Panthéon and the Conciergerie today, and unexpectedly falling in love with stone, spiral staircases, there was another highlight I thought you'd appreciate: visiting one of the world's most famous and truly delightful bookstores, Shakespeare and Company. The shelves are crammed with old and new books, the staff (I heard only … Continue reading Shakespeare and Co., Paris

Alex y Robert by Wena Poon: virtual book tour

  I met the talented, vivacious Singapore-born American writer Wena Poon last October, sharing a taxi ride from Denpasar airport to Ubud, Bali, for the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. In that taxi and during her panels I learnt that Wena was dauntingly 'together' - interweaving careers in writing and Law, travelling the world, and seeming like she … Continue reading Alex y Robert by Wena Poon: virtual book tour

Joel Magarey’s Exposure: A Journey

Exposure: A Journey Joel Magarey Wakefield Press (Australia) 9781862548237 2009 I write this review just moments after finishing the book, and really, I’m aching from it. Joel Magarey has just taken me on an adventure - around the world, through illness and through love. The narrative flows back and forth between periods in the '80s and '90s … Continue reading Joel Magarey’s Exposure: A Journey

A few sessions at Writers at the Convent, 2010

I caught three sessions at Writers at the Convent last weekend – run by Reader’s Feast Bookstore, held at the gorgeous Abbotsford Convent. The session ‘We’ll always have Paris’ featured chef Shannon Bennett (Shannon Bennett’s Paris) and Elizabeth Bard (Lunch in Paris) who is a New Yorker living in that magical city. Bennett is a Melbourne-based chef/restaurateur … Continue reading A few sessions at Writers at the Convent, 2010

10 things about Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2009

After Ruby J Murray's On Writing in the World: Ten Things About Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2009. 1. Flying over the top end - veiny, crater-filled land, mercury lakes and billabongs. The corny sea creature carpet at Darwin airport where there's a smoking area and men in matching shirts drinking VB. Realising in the … Continue reading 10 things about Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2009