Robert Drewe Interview

Robert Drewe's new collection of short stories, The Rip is in the shops, and Jo Case on the Readings" weblog spoke to him about his new book and other things:

You write across a range of forms: short stories, novels, memoir. Do you have a favourite? What draws you to short stories as a form?

I don't favour any particular form, other than preferring to write fiction. No contest: fiction is more fun to do. After writing a long novel -- most recently, Grace -- I find it pleasurable to write stories next. A book is such a long haul and you have to keep yourself diverted and entertained. It's like painting your house: after painting three blue walls you can't wait to switch to a yellow wall. Short stories have an immediacy and power, and speak to us personally more than a novel does. Apart from its sharper focus, what the good story has over the novel is that it sets up a need in us that we weren't aware of -- and then fulfils it. I appreciate that small miracle.

The stories in The Rip are loosely linked by their setting on the Australian coast, and many of the characters you write about have a deep affinity to the water. Is that an affinity you share? If so, how does it inform your writing?

The Swan River estuary, the lunar West Australian landscape and the Indian Ocean coast were set in my consciousness as a child, and clearly affect my writing, especially my story collections such as The Rip and The Bodysurfers. Like most Australians I prefer to live near it, but in my work I'm not a hostage to the coast. My most successful novels, like The Drowner or Our Sunshine or The Savage Crows, reach a bit further inland. My characters aren't always going swimming or applying suntan oil.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on October 2, 2008 4:31 PM.

Kate Grenville Watch #1 was the previous entry in this blog.

Reprint: Henry Kendall by G.B. is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.23-en