As you will have heard with my choices it is very hard to separate the literature from the sense of the place. And that is just as true for the past as for its contemporary energy. You get this weird thing in Australia. It’s a highly urban place and yet the imagination of the writers so often goes to remote places and remote times. The landscape is so vast and unwritten that it is appealing to writers and I think that is something distinctive to Australia. And the way people deal with that, through irony, through humour, through exaggeration, which all of these books I have mentioned have in different ways.
The book, according to the author