What does it mean to read as a writer? Novelist and academic Belinda Castles asked twenty-five writers this question, and brought together their thoughts into a generous, analytic collection of essays in which each writer talked about another writer’s work or an individual novel, as a way to talk about reading and its impact. Kate spoke to Belinda and two of the other contributors to this collection (Debra Adelaide and Nicholas Jose), with reflections on how reading works.

Also, crime writer Will Dean on what it means to live in a remote cabin in Sweden, where the wolves howl and the elk roam, and how that place has found its way into his writing and the character Tuva Moodyson. He also reveals the bookshelf that has influenced him, in conversation with Kate.

And Cassie and Kate speak to Michaela Kalowski, curator of the 2021 Big Weekend of Books, about what’s ahead.

BOOKS

Belinda Castles (ed), Reading Like an Australian Writer, New South

Will Dean, Dark Pines, Red Snow, Bad Apples (the Tuva Moodyson series), Bloomsbury

GUESTS

Michaela Kalowski, curator, RN’s Big Weekend of Books

Belinda Castles, novelist and literary academic. Editor, Reading Like an Australian Writer. In her essay for this collection, she focuses on Peter Carey’s Oscar and Lucinda

Debra Adelaide, writer whose books include the short story collection Zebra and the essay collection, The Innocent Reader. In Reading Like an Australian Writer, she focuses on Kate Jennings’ Snake

Nicholas Jose, writer whose books include the novel Paper Nautilus and non-fiction Chinese Whispers. In Reading Like an Australian Writer, he focuses on JM Coetzee’s Elizabeth Costello

Will Dean, crime writer based in Sweden, whose books include the Tuva Moodyson series

Other Books Mentioned in the Discussion

For a preview of the Big Weekend of Books, click here

Colm McCann, Letters to a Young Writer: Some practical and philosophical advice

Peter Carey, Oscar and Lucinda

Kate Jennings, Snake

J.M. Coetzee, Elizabeth Costello

Shirley Jackson, works

Stephen King, works

Yaa Gyasi, Homegoing

Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men

James Lee Burke, works

Chris Whitaker, We Begin at the End

Dennis Lehane, works

Gillian Flynn, works

Henning Mankell, works

Stieg Larsson, works

Peter Høeg, Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow

S.A. Cosby, Razorblade Tears

Music

The Magnetic Heads, The Street

The Tallest Man on Earth, Weather of a Killing Kind

Sascha Astrid, Being Alone