Work. Rest. Play.

Man of letters and world traveler Robert Dessaix thinks everyone should spend more time playing. And loafing. And nesting. In his latest book, he posits that finding room for more leisure could restore some much needed civility – and enjoyment – to our endlessly busy lives. Robert and I spoke about The Pleasures of Leisure […]

Baby did a bad, bad thing

In Laura Elizabeth Woollett‘s short story collection, twelve women across time and across continents are bound by a common thread. They are the wives, girlfriends, mistresses of men who committed evil deeds. And in the cases of some, the women were their accomplices – willing or otherwise. I spoke to Laura by phone about The […]

Silence is golden

The year is 2010. The place – New York. The man is Arky Levin, a film composer, and there is something weighing on his mind. So he goes day after day to see Marina Abramovic, who is performing The Artist is Present at the Museum of Modern Art. There is nothing to see; not really. […]

Mayan Mendacity

Canberra’s own intermillennial sleuth Dr Elizabeth Pimms returns in the second book of LJ Owen’s archaeological mystery series. The mystery at the centre of LJ’s new book involves skeletal remains recovered from an island in Guatemala, which are linked to Mayan princess Lady Six Sky. But how? Dr Pimms is on the case. The wonderful […]

Portrait of a nation

The three decades following the Cultural Revolution were a tumultuous but exhilarating time to be in China. Madeleine O’Dea saw these changes up close while writing and reporting for The Australian Financial Review, ABC TV, and other outlets. In The Phoenix Years: Art, resistance and the making of modern China, Madeleine charts the dark days […]

Her dark materials

In Gary Kemble’s Bad Blood, freelance journalist Harry Hendrick investigates a string of deaths that share a supernatural connection: the alluring but deadly Mistress Hel. Will Harry be the one to resist her dark charms? Gary and I spoke by phone about his second Harry Hendrick book. Our conversation covered the unexplainable, bad people – […]