Reinventing Lives: A Conversation with Steven Carroll

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.22356/wic.v6i1.41

Keywords:

Australian fiction, autobiography, Iris Murdoch, T.S. Eliot

Abstract

Steven Carroll is the author of twelve novels, including two series; one based around his family background in Glenroy in suburban Melbourne, and the other inspired by T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets.

I have admired Steven’s work ever since I reviewed The Time We Have Taken, his 2007 Miles Franklin Award winning novel, for the very first issue of Transnational Literature. This was the third of the ‘Glenroy’ novels – there are now six in that series, the latest being The Year of the Beast (2019), based on the experiences of his grandmother in Melbourne in 1917.

Recently, when catching up on some long-overdue reading, I picked up A World of Other People (2013), the second of the Eliot novels, to discover that, although it is never made explicit in the book, the heroine is a reinvented version of another of my favourite writers, Iris Murdoch. I immediately decided it was time to travel to Melbourne (on the Overland train, which Steven’s father used to drive) to interview him.

We met in late January 2019 in bustling Lygon Street, Carlton, where it was too noisy to record our conversation. We found a quiet, shady table nearby on the Melbourne University campus and talked for an hour, till the heat drove us back to Lygon Street to continue chatting over a cup of tea.

 

Author Biography

Gillian Dooley, Flinders University

Gillian Dooley is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in English at Flinders University. Her publications include V.S. Naipaul, Man and Writer (2006) and J.M. Coetzee and the Power of Narrative (2010). She is the General Editor of the journal Transnational Literature and a regular book reviewer for Australian Book Review.

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Published

2019-02-03

Issue

Section

Interviews