Read This

Schwartz Media

A weekly show about the books we love and the stories behind them. Hear the best writers from Australia and around the world talk about their lives and their work.

  • 31 minutes 7 seconds
    Dylin Hardcastle Has Found Their Own Voice

    Dylin Hardcastle has been publishing their writing since they were 21, having now completed a memoir, a book of YA fiction and two novels. In their latest work, Dylin takes the reader back to 1972, and across three decades, explores the parallel lives of two women, shaped by their contrasting experiences of desire. This week, Michael sits down with Dylin Hardcastle for a wide-ranging conversation about this new novel, A Language of Limbs.


    Reading list:

    A Language of Limbs, Dylin Hardcastle, 2024

    Below Deck, Sophie Hardcastle, 2020

    Breathing Underwater, Sophie Hardcastle, 2016

    Running Like China, Sophie Hardcastle, 2015


    In the Dream House, Carmen Maria Machado, 2019

    Voice of the Fish: A Lyric Essay, Lars Horn, 2022

    The List, Yomi Adegoke, 2023


    You can find these books and all the others we mentioned at your favourite independent book store. 


    Socials: Stay in touch with Read This on Instagram and Twitter

    Guest: Dylin Hardcastle

    17 July 2024, 7:00 pm
  • 38 minutes
    We Visited Gerald Murnane at the Goroke Golf Course

    Gerald Murnane doesn’t have readers, he has acolytes. The New Yorker described him as “the reclusive giant of Australian letters”. He’s written 10 novels, several collections of short stories and essays, and a memoir about horse racing. Together these books represent one of the most formidable and singular bodies of work in literature. This week, Michael drives out to the Goroke golf course to chat with Gerald on his home turf.


    Reading list:

    Tamarisk Row, Gerald Murnane, 1974

    A Lifetime on Clouds, Gerald Murnane, 1976

    The Plains, Gerald Murnane, 1982

    Inland, Gerald Murnane, 1988

    Emerald Blue, Gerald Murnane, 1995 

    Barley Patch, Gerald Murnane, 2009 

    A History of Books, Gerald Murnane, 2012

    A Million Windows, Gerald Murnane, 2014

    Something for the Pain: A Memoir of the Turf, Gerald Murnane, 2015 

    Border Districts, Gerald Murnane, 2017 

    A Season on Earth, Gerald Murnane, 2019 

    Last Letter to a Reader, Gerald Murnane, 2021


    You can find these books and all the others we mentioned at your favourite independent book store. 


    Articles on Gerald Murnane

    Is the Next Nobel Laureate in Literature Tending Bar in a Dusty Australian Town?

    An Idiot in the Greek Sense

    The Reclusive Giant of Australian Letters


    Socials: Stay in touch with Read This on Instagram and Twitter

    Guest: Gerald Murnane

    10 July 2024, 7:00 pm
  • 30 minutes 54 seconds
    Michael Ondaatje Is Learning Everything Again

    Sri Lankan-born Canadian essayist, poet, and Booker Prize-winning novelist Michael Ondaatje has just released a stunning collection of poems. Ondaatje is now 80 years old and it’s almost half a century since he published his first novel; even longer since he first published poetry. This week, Michael joins Read This for a conversation about A Year of Last Things and why writing remains such a joyful act of discovery.


    Reading list:

    Coming Through Slaughter, Michael Ondaatje, 1976

    In the Skin of a Lion, Michael Ondaatje, 1986

    The Cinnamon Peeler: Selected Poems, Michael Ondaatje, 1989

    The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje, 1992

    Handwriting, Michael Ondaatje, 1998

    Anil's Ghost, Michael Ondaatje, 2000

    Divisadero, Michael Ondaatje, 2007

    The Cat's Table, Michael Ondaatje, 2011

    Warlight, Michael Ondaatje, 2018

    A Year of Last Things, Michael Ondaatje, 2024


    The Collected Poems of W. S. Merwin, 2013


    Socials: Stay in touch with Read This on Instagram and Twitter

    Guest: Michael Ondaatje

    3 July 2024, 7:00 pm
  • 33 minutes 28 seconds
    Paul Murray and the Beautiful Opera of Life

    Paul Murray’s last two novels, Skippy Dies and The Mark and the Void, were both modern masterpieces of institutional failure. In his 2023 Booker Prize shortlisted novel, The Bee Sting, the failing institution Paul turns his comedic eye to is the family. This week, Michael and Paul sit down for a discussion about fraudulence, empathy, and the beautiful opera of life.


    Reading list:

    An Evening of Long Goodbyes, Paul Murray, 2003

    Skippy Dies, Paul Murray, 2010

    The Mark and the Void, Paul Murray, 2015

    The Bee Sting, Paul Murray, 2023


    Doppelganger: A Trip Into the Mirror World, Naomi Klein, 2023


    You can find these books and all the others we mentioned at your favourite independent book store. 


    Socials: Stay in touch with Read This on Instagram and Twitter

    Guest: Paul Murray

    26 June 2024, 7:00 pm
  • 37 minutes 18 seconds
    Don’t Call Paul Lynch’s Book a Political Novel

    For many years, Irish writer Paul Lynch was a household name…in France. And while his work was popular in translation, and received numerous French literary awards, it was still considered niche. This all changed in 2023, following the release of Prophet Song, which was critically lauded and eventually won the holy grail of English language literary awards: the Booker Prize. This week we return to the Melbourne Writers’ Festival to hear a conversation between Michael and Paul about how Paul became a writer, and why he doesn’t think Prophet Song is a political novel.


    Reading list:

    Red Sky in Morning, Paul Lynch, 2013

    The Black Snow, Paul Lynch, 2014

    Grace, Paul Lynch, 2017

    Beyond the Sea, Paul Lynch, 2020

    Prophet Song, Paul Lynch, 2023


    The Prisoner of Zenda, Anthony Hope, 1894

    King Solomon's Mines, H. Rider Haggard, 1885

    The Mayor of Casterbridge, Thomas Hardy, 1886


    The Heart in Winter, Kevin Barry, 2024


    You can find these books and all the others we mentioned at your favourite independent book store. 


    Socials: Stay in touch with Read This on Instagram and Twitter

    Guest: Paul Lynch.

    19 June 2024, 6:00 pm
  • 32 minutes 23 seconds
    Leslie Jamison’s Search History

    Leslie Jamison is celebrated for her ability to link the personal to the cultural to the critical in ways that resonate and move and connect with readers. She first did it with The Empathy Exams – an essay, then a best-selling, award-winning collection. Now she is back with a new book, Splinters: Another Kind of Love Story, a memoir about rebuilding a life after the end of a marriage. This week, Michael sits down with Leslie to discuss this latest work and what it means to be many things – a teacher, an artist, a lover and a mother. 


    Reading list:

    The Gin Closet, Leslie Jamison, 2010

    The Empathy Exams, Leslie Jamison, 2014

    The Recovering, Leslie Jamison, 2018

    Splinters: Another Kind of Love Story, Leslie Jamison, 2024


    Sleepless Nights, Elizabeth Hardwick, 1979

    Fragile Creatures, Khin Myint, 2024


    You can find these books and all the others we mentioned at your favourite independent book store. 


    Socials: Stay in touch with Read This on Instagram and Twitter

    Guest: Leslie Jamison

    12 June 2024, 7:00 pm
  • 31 minutes 41 seconds
    What Is Wrong with Viet Thanh Nguyen?

    In 2015, Viet Thanh Nguyen was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his debut novel, The Sympathizer. Now, nearly a decade later, the book has been adapted into an HBO miniseries of the same name. This week, Michael sits down with Viet for a conversation about his latest book, A Man with Two Faces, which expands beyond the familiar beats of memoir, and features the author’s trademark interest in the broader political and colonial implications of the personal.


    Reading list:

    The Sympathizer, Viet Thanh Nguyen, 2014

    The Committed, Viet Thanh Nguyen, 2021

    A Man of Two Faces, Viet Thanh Nguyen, 2023


    Dune, Frank Herbert, 1965

    Portnoy's Complaint, Philip Roth,1968 


    Quarterly Essay: Highway to Hell, Joëlle Gergis, 2024 


    You can find these books and all the others we mentioned at your favourite independent book store. 


    Socials: Stay in touch with Read This on Instagram and Twitter

    Guest: Viet Thanh Nguyen

    5 June 2024, 2:00 pm
  • 29 minutes
    All Bruce Pascoe Needs Is a Biro

    It was 2014 when Bruce Pascoe went from being a prolific, yet relatively unknown writer, to public enemy #1 in Australia’s culture wars. That was the year that Bruce published his now infamous book, Dark Emu, and its re-examination of accepted historical accounts of pre-invasion Australia. This week, he joins Michael for a discussion about his new novel Imperial Harvest and shares why he still believes we need the messiness of democracy.


    Reading list:

    Dark Emu, Bruce Pascoe, 2014

    Imperial Harvest, Bruce Pascoe, 2024


    Time’s Monster, Priya Satia, 2020

    The Ministry of Time, Kellyanne Bradley, 2024


    You can find these books and all the others we mentioned at your favourite independent book store. 


    Socials: Stay in touch with Read This on Instagram and Twitter

    Guest: Bruce Pascoe

    29 May 2024, 7:00 pm
  • 32 minutes 59 seconds
    Miranda July Wrote the Book She Couldn’t Find

    Writer, artist, and filmmaker Miranda July has a devoted – even rabid – following, through her writing, her work on the screen, and her collaborative art projects. Her debut 2007 collection of short stories No One Belongs Here More Than You was a publishing sensation, and her debut film, Me and You and Everyone We Know, won the Palme D’Or at Cannes Film Festival. This week, she and Michael discuss her new novel, All Fours, which explores desire, intimacy, dance, and an often overlooked part of the ageing process.


    Reading list:

    Books

    No One Belongs Here More Than You, Miranda July, 2007

    The First Bad Man, Miranda July, 2019

    All Fours, Miranda July, 2024


    Short Stories

    ‘Roy Spivey’, Miranda July, 2009 (The New Yorker)

    ‘The Metal Bowl’, Miranda July, 2017 (The New Yorker)


    Women Have Been Misled About Menopause’, Susan Dominus, 2023 (The New York Times)

    What Fresh Hell Is This?, Heather Corinna, 2021

    Long Island, Colm Tóibín, 2024


    You can find these books and all the others we mentioned at your favourite independent book store. 


    Socials: Stay in touch with Read This on Instagram and Twitter

    Guest: Miranda July

    22 May 2024, 7:00 pm
  • 32 minutes 47 seconds
    Andrew O’Hagan’s Big Dickensian Energy

    Across half a dozen novels, Andrew O’Hagan has made a name for himself as an author of delicacy and grace, painting the community he comes from, in Scotland’s west, with tenderness and wry, affectionate humour. His latest, Caledonian Road, follows art historian Campbell Flynn. A man who is at a turning point and is about to come up against his own downfall. This week, Michael sits down with Andrew for a conversation about the Dickensian world he has created in his new novel and why he considers it his most optimistic book yet.


    Reading list:

    Our Fathers, Andrew O’Hagan, 1999

    Be Near Me, Andrew O’Hagan, 2006

    Mayflies, Andrew O’Hagan, 2020

    Caledonian Road, Andrew O’Hagan, 2024


    Lives of Girls and Women, Alice Munro, 1971 

    Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage, Alice Munro, 2001

    Dear Life, Alice Munro, 2012


    You can find these books and all the others we mentioned at your favourite independent book store. 


    Socials: Stay in touch with Read This on Instagram and Twitter

    Guest: Andrew O’Hagan

    15 May 2024, 7:00 pm
  • 28 minutes 1 second
    It’s Winnie Dunn’s Turn in the Spotlight

    Winnie Dunn is used to being behind the scenes. As the general manager of Sweatshop Literacy Movement in Western Sydney, she has been instrumental in helping other writers find their voice. But now, the spotlight is on her. This week, Michael sits down with Winnie for a conversation about her debut novel, Dirt Poor Islanders. She reflects on the demonising narratives she had to fight and the piece of writing advice that she’d given to others that resonated for her.


    Reading list:

    Dirt Poor Islanders, Winnie Dunn, 2024

    I Am Lupe, Sela Ahosivi-Atiola, Yani Agustina, 2023

    Only the Astronauts, Ceridwen Dovey, 2024


    You can find these books and all the others we mentioned at your favourite independent book store. 


    Socials: Stay in touch with Read This on Instagram and Twitter

    Guest: Winnie Dunn

    8 May 2024, 7:00 pm
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