Alaskan Authors in Conversation

Here is an excellent discussion between Alaskan authors Eowyn Ivey & Andromeda Romano-Lax. The recording lasts for a little over an hour as they discuss their work including Ivey’s novel The Snow Child and Romano-Lax’s books The Spanish Bow and The Detour.

The discussion is both entertaining and informative. They are not only talented writers, but also very capable public speakers.

The recording is a blend of conversation and interview.

The link comes from here:

The Art Lover by Andromeda Romano-Lax

the-art-loverI want to thank the Australian publishers who decided to change the name of Andromeda Romana-Lax’s book.

The original title of The Detour perhaps better describes the content of the novel, but if not for the change to The Art Lover, it wouldn’t have attracted my attention.

Most of my book purchases around that time were art related, mainly non-fiction, but I’d also bought the few novels I’d seen about art and artists. The Australian title of this book suggested it would fit into that category but it didn’t fulfil those expectations.

But honestly, I don’t care! I loved it.

Ernst Vogler is given the responsibility of travelling to Rome to oversee the transport of a famous marble statue back to Germany in the early stages of Hitler’s programme to “collect” Europe’s most prestigious art works.  What should have been a straight forward exercise becomes increasingly problem-laden from the very start of Vogler’s journey.

Can he meet the deadline and deliver the statue to the German border on time?

The novel looks at three distinct stages of Vogler’s life. It starts and ends in 1948 telling most of the story in a flashback to events ten years earlier. Along the way we also see incidents from his childhood that set him on the path leading to Rome and his life-changing journey, through Italy

What more can I say without revealing too much and robbing potential readers of the joy of discovering the story for themselves?  Maybe just a few isolated words to give a taste?

Family. Fear. Joy. Tragedy. Love. Pain. Guilt. Freedom. Possibility.

A wonderful book, many layered but not over-complex; my only “criticism”? I was disappointed when it ended – I wanted to read more and could have lived with the book for much longer.


see the author’s blog here:

Entering the Reader’sTwilight Zone

the-art-loverAfter completing Zadie Smith’s book of essays (see previous posts), I wasn’t sure what to read next. My eventual choice was The Art Lover by Andromeda Romano-Lax (published as The Detour elsewhere). It’s been sitting on my bookcase for a few months since I bought it on a trip to Canberra.

After reading the first three chapters during my work lunch break I decided to find out more about the author.

She has a wordpress site and while skimming through its contents I came across the title of something she wrote for another blog:  “The purpose and joys of rereading” –  if you look back to my previous post about Zadie Smith you’ll see why this title jumped at me.

I couldn’t resist taking a look at the article to find out why this term “rereading” is beginning to haunt me.


Cue the Twilight Zone music!



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