Meeting Courtney Collins in Athens

Courtney Collins

This week I was lucky enough to meet in Athens the wonderful Courtney Collins, one of Australia’s most luminous and powerful new literary voices. Over organic smoothies at a vegan cafe in the centre of town, Courtney talked to me in detailabout what inspired her first novel, THE BURIAL (based on the life of legendary bush-ranger, Jessie Hickman) drawing interesting parallels between Jessie and the plight of the Greek people during the crisis. Continue reading

In Praise of Book Fairs II: A Frankfurt Love Story


If happiness is fleeting moments of unsuspected joy then I’ve been very happy at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair. Upon reflection, these moments have little to do with Frankfurt itself. The architecture of the city is not conducive to joy. The skyscrapers are misplaced: they look like glass thorns in the heart of the city. And the river is too solemn and neutral for my liking. The people, however, are another story. Continue reading

In Praise of Book Fairs

Frankfurter Buchmesse 2010, Frankfurt book fair 2010

It is only during book fairs that the solitary nature of my profession comes into sharp focus. I do get daily reminders, of course –it is hard not to when you run a one-woman business from home- but during books fairs I get the chance to review it from a distance, to evaluate it against the wonderful backdrop of fellowship, comradeship and professional allegiance that I feel amongst my co-agents and fellow book professionals. Continue reading

Books and the Invisible City

Invisible cities

I am not sure if I can sufficiently explain my fascination with Calvino’s Invisible Cities and the important role it has come to play in my life. I cannot recall how I discovered it; when and where I bought it or on whose recommendation. It’s as if it has always been in my life which, I suppose, is the exact reason why I can’t write about it. All I know is that over the years it has become more than a book: it has become my dictionary; my encyclopedia of cities; my paper flat globe of the world; my book of dreams; my pain-killer. Continue reading