August 2020Vol. 7 No. 2 (2020)
Welcome to the August 2020 issue of Writers in Conversation.
Included in this issue are interviews with Indian poets Kalyani Thakur Charal, Raphael D'Abdon and Kavita Ezekiel Mendonca, brought to us by the indefatigable Jaydeep Sarangi and his colleagues. Eamonn Wall interviews the Irish novelist E.M. (Elizabeth) Reapy, and WiC co-editor Nick Turner's conversation with the British novelist and journalist A.N. Wilson rounds out the contemporary offerings.
Over the past few issues, we have been mining the archives of Australian print journals and republishing particularly interesting conversation we have found there. In this issue, we are absolutely delighted that Dorothy Driver has unearthed two interviews with the great South African writer Bessie Head which were conducted during her 1984 visit to Australia. Dorothy has written a substantial introduction and produced new editions of these interviews, in one case going back to the original recording to check the transcription. The result is a major contribution to scholarship, and we are very proud to be publishing it.
We have decided that the time has come to draw Writers in Conversation to a close. We would like to thank all the contributors and supporters of the journal. It has been a most enjoyable journey, with a new batch of fascinating interactions appearing regularly every six months over the past seven years. But one's time, energy and capacity are not infinite, and we have decided the time has come to give priority to other projects. The fourteen issues of the journal, containing nearly 100 interviews, will remain freely available online, the most recent eight on this site and the first six issues archived at Flinders Academic Commons.
February 2020Vol. 7 No. 1 (2020)
The February 2020 issue of Writers in Conversation includes six new conversations, including two with Dalit authors from West Bengal (Shyamal Kumar Pramanik) and Maharashtra (Urmila Pawar), one with Abhay K., an Indian poet and diplomat, one with best-selling Australian science fiction writer Sean Williams, one with veteran Australian literary scholar Joost Daalder, and one between two colleagues discussing the great Indian poet and short-story writer Kamala Das.
We also include a 1994 interview with Malaysian poet, critic and scholar Shirley Geok-lin Lim drawn from the archives of the Centre for Research into New Literatures in English.
We hope you enjoy this issue.
August 2019Vol. 6 No. 2 (2019)
Welcome to the August 2019 issue of Writers in Conversation.
In this issue we bring you five conversations with authors based in India, Australia and the UK, conducted by scholars from Mallorca, Australia and India.
Basudev Sunani is an Oriya poet from Odisha, and in his interview with Jaydeep Sarangi he discusses his experience as a Dalit writer and his commitment to the Dalit movement. Another Indian poet, Malay Roychoudhury, in conversation with Zinia Mitra and Jaydeep Sarangi, gives a fascinating account of his formative part in the avant-garde 'Hungryalist' movement in Bengal in the 1960s.
Two Australian novelists are interviewed in this issue. Jane Rawson discusses her extraordinary unclassifiable novel, 'From the Wreck', partly based on a famous event in South Australian history, with Patrick Allington, while Australian author Candice Fox speaks candidly to Mallorcan scholar Catalina Ribas-Segura about her successful career as a popular crime fiction writer.
South African born novelist and academic Elleke Boehmer, now based at Oxford University, spoke to Gillian Dooley about her new book 'The Shouting in the Dark and other Southern Writing' at a public event in Adelaide in February 2019, and this conversation and the discussion that follows are transcribed here.
We hope you enjoy this selection of interviews with a range of writers with very different life stories and experiences of the creative process.
Gillian Dooley and Nick Turner, Editors.
FebruaryVol. 6 No. 1 (2019)
Welcome to the February 2019 issue of Writers in Conversation. In this issue we publish four new interviews with writers from India (novelist Jerry Pinto and poet Sanjukta Dasgupta), Sri Lanka (novelist and poet Daya Dissanayake) and Australia (novelist Steven Carroll), and we are also reprinting a 1994 interview by R.P. Rama with Sri Lankan author Yasmine Gooneratne, who lived and taught in Australia for many years.
The links between Australia, India and Sri Lanka are many and varied, and it is pleasing that this selection of interviews reflects this in many ways. The interview with Australian novelist Steven Carroll also reflects international literary links with authors such as T.S. Eliot and Iris Murdoch.
The interviews range in style from formal text-based interviews conducted by email, sometimes with more than one interviewer contributing, to transcripts of informal face-to-face conversations edited for publication.
We hope you enjoy this varied collection of conversations with writers.
Gillian Dooley and Nick Turner (editors)
AugustVol. 5 No. 2 (2018)
We are very pleased to bring you the August 2018 issue of Writers in Conversation, the tenth edition, which rounds out our fifth year of publication. As is always our aim, we again include interviews with writers in a variety of styles and forms – poets, novelists, non-fiction writers – with wide-ranging interests and approaches to their craft.
Nadira Brioua and Mohammad Quayum interview Umm Zakiyyah, a prominent African-American novelist born in New York whose novels explore the urgent challenges faced by Muslims in the USA since 11 September 2001. Arup Chatterjee brings us an absorbing conversation with London’s ‘deep topographer’, Nick Papadimitriou, following on from his discussion with Papadimitriou’s friend and associate, British writer Will Self, in the February issue.
Our indefatigable colleague Jaydeep Sarangi has provided two interviews for this issue. His animated discussion with Sharmila Ray, Indian poet and essayist writing in English, covers many topics, including the genesis of her poetry, her thoughts on the Kolkota literary scene and her reaction to the perennial question of why an Indian poet writes in English. Jaydeep also spoke to Nakul Mallik, a Bangla-Dalit writer-activist, on his development as a writer and the important work he continues to do to promote the cause of the Dalit community in Bengal. And in turn, Jaydeep, himself a distinguished poet, is interviewed for this issue by Ruchi Singh.
To round out the issue, your editor Gillian Dooley spoke to her friend and colleague Danielle Clode, a remarkable and prolific creative non-fiction writer who writes on science and natural history. Our discussion particularly centred on her new book about Australian naturalist Edith Coleman, The Wasp and the Orchid, her first foray into full-length biography.
We hope you enjoy the variety of voices represented here, from a truly international collection of authors, and we extend our gratitude as always to both interviewers and interviewees.
Gillian Dooley and Nick Turner,
FebruaryVol. 5 No. 1 (2018)
Letter from the Editors
Welcome to the February 2018 issue of Writers in Conversation. We are delighted to publish our ninth collection of interviews with a diverse selection of writers at work today: novelists, poets, translators and academics from across the globe. This allows us to see world literature in microcosm: innovative, passionate, transnational and political.
Despite the variety of the writers, some questions and themes recur. Postcolonial literature plays a large role, as do accompanying questions of politics, geography, race, religion, immigration and diaspora. Two of the writers (Bama Faustina Soosairaj and Kapilkrishna Thapur) are activists from India; one is an indigenous writer (Leane Betasamosake Simpson) from Canada, and one the prominent British author, academic and journalist Will Self. The work of the leading world writer J.M. Coetzee is the subject of an article bringing together the insights of five of his translators, something else highly pertinent to questions of world writing.
We are delighted to have a mixture of writers here from the very well-known to the as yet lesser known, writers who merit attention for their politics, their stories and the feelings they portray. We firmly believe not in ‘The Death of the Author’ but in the author’s paramount importance. We hope you enjoy reading the interviews as much as we did – and if you think you have something that would interest us, please do send it!
Nick Turner and Gillian Dooley
AugustVol. 4 No. 2 (2017)
Welcome to the August 2017 issue of Writers in Conversation. In this issue, we feature a variety of interviews showing different approaches to the written word.
Mamang Dai, a poet and novelist based in Arunchal Pradesh, India, talks to Jaydeep Sarangi about being an English-language writer with a background in the oral tradition of the Adi people. Goutam Karmakar talks to Kerala poet K.V. Dominic about a distinguished career in literature and academia. B.N. Gaikwad and Sumeet R. Patil interview Gail Omvedt, American-born activist now based in India, about her work in the anti-caste movement. Poet Subodh Sarkar talks to Jaydeep Sarangi about his early life as the son of a refugee from East Bengal and the struggle to make a life in writing and academia. And lastly, artist Carol Sommer talks to Frances White about her project using the novels of Iris Murdoch as material in her process art.
We hope you enjoy this rich and varied issue.
Gillian Dooley and Nick Turner, Editors.
FebruaryVol. 4 No. 1 (2017)
Writers in Conversation is now celebrating its fourth birthday. As editors we are delighted that conversations with a fascinating range of writers continue to come in from all over the world.
In this issue, Mahuya Bhaumik interviews Indian Dalit activist, writer and critic Sharan Kumar Limbale; Gillian Dooley talks to Australian musician and memoirist Anna Goldsworthy; Rob Harle interviews Indian poet, critic and translator D.C. Chambial, and Sunil Sharma discusses ghazals with poet Steffen Horstmann.
Abhimanyu Pandey introduces Robin Gregory, US author of The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman. Elisabetta Marino has conducted two interviews, one with Chicago novelist Tony Ardizzone and the other with travel writer Arup K. Chatterjee.
To round out this issue, Jaydeep Sarangi has contributed two interviews, one with Australian writer and academic Catherine Cole and the other with Malsawmi Jacob, another multi-faceted writer living in Bangalore, India.
We'd like to thank all our interviewers, the writers they interviewed and everyone who reads the journal. Please continue to spread the word about it!
We hope you will enjoy reading and learning from the mix of interviews in this issue as much as we did.