In-depth conversations with the best fiction writers from Australia and around the world.
'They're about real things' — Madeline Miller on the popularity of Greek myths
American author Madeline Miller has found a new audience for her prize winning novel Circe on #BookTok and now she has a new offering based on Greek mythology called Galatea.
Also, Lauren Chater's real life inspiration for her third historical novel, The Winter Dress and Carrie Cox asks whether relationships are really meant to go the distance in her latest novel, So Many Beats of the Heart.
'I got obsessed with horses' — Geraldine Brooks on her novel Horse
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brookes says she "didn't grow up as a horse obsessed girl" but rather her interest in horses was a result of a midlife crisis which led her to the history of a famous American thoroughbred that was the inspiration for her latest novel, simply called Horse.
Also, John Purcell talks about his second official novel, The Lessons, and reveals his brief career writing erotica and Karen Manton explains the inspiration for her evocative novel, The Curlew's Eye, set in remote Northern Territory.
Meg Mason's surprise success with Sorrow and Bliss
Meg Mason thought her second novel, Sorrow and Bliss wouldn't be published, it was and is now shortlisted for this year's Women's Prize for Fiction, which will be announced this week.
Also Australian writer Ennis Ćehić on his playful collection, Sadvertising, and American writer Leila Motley's debut novel, Nightcrawling, which she wrote at just 17.
'I wish I’d had more resolution of character' — Booker winner Damon Galgut on privilege and power
Booker-winning writer Damon Galgut wasn’t always aware of his privilege, growing up as a white man in South Africa. Instead, he describes a ‘slow-shifting of consciousness’, that culminated in The Promise, a book he calls ‘my most South African novel'.
Also, The Rosie Project author, Graeme Simsion, gives a tour of his writing space and Hilde Hinton on her second novel, A Solitary Walk on the Moon.
Lessons in life, mortality and love from Julian Barnes
British Booker winner Julian Barnes's latest novel, Elizabeth Finch, is about a life-changing teacher and he tells the audience at the Sydney Writers Festival that "you become a writer by not being the child of a writer".
Moon colonies and the 'Mandelverse' with Emily St John Mandel
Canadian author, Emily St John Mandel, says the pandemic changed her as a writer. Her latest, Sea of Tranquility, was written during lockdown in New York and while it's a standalone novel, also features links to her previous books, Station Eleven and The Glass Hotel.
Also, Goan-Anglo-Indian Australian writer Michelle Cahill's novel, Daisy and Woolf, is a literary homage and post-colonial critique of Virginia Woolf’s classic Mrs Dalloway.