Briefly out of hibernation yesterday to do a quick gig on ABC Brisbane’s 612 with Tim Cox’s Drivetime. Basically a chance to talk about what everyone is reading, seeing, watching. I am totally out of the GAME OF THRONES hysteria — Richard sang its praises long and loud and Tim reckons its Shakespearian in its proportion and depth — but I was pleased to know Jillian Whiting was with me — she hasn’t seen it either.
Other things I mentioned were the wonderful Christos Tsolkias. I reckon he’s the best writer writing in Australia today — the psychological acuity, the reach of his vision, the vigour of his prose. I recommended BARRACUDA, despite the fact that I have not really read the whole thing through. I’m not reading fiction (when you are some 57,000 words into your own novel it is death to read other writers — either you (meaning me) unconsciously parody them, or else you feel like jumping out the window because they are so good and you are so bad, or else it just completely puts you off your stride because you need to hypnotise yourself into believing that finishing your book actually matters. Very easy for a writer — sitting alone in a room day after day — to lose faith and confidence). I read non-fiction when I am writing, and so I also mentioned the John Cheever biography by Blake Bailey (who wrote the wonderful Richard Yates bio).
The other book I mentioned was Kristina Olsson memoir BOY LOST, a beautifully wrought, very moving story about the absence in the life of her late mother, and the child wrenched from her arms. Recommended. I hope this will be a regular monthly gig — it was fun. And most refreshing to remove myself from my lonely chair in my lonely room. Now, back to that lonely, growing book.