Living in a New Country: History, travelling and language
Faber and Faber, $35, 214 pp
In the mid-1980s, Paul Carter and I used to meet and talk from time to time. On a hot day just before the Ash Wednesday fires, I mentioned to Paul that I was becoming disappointed with the book of fiction that I was then writing. Paul said much in reply to this, but all I remembered afterwards was his opening sentence: ‘The only material any writer has is his thoughts and feelings.’ What Paul Carter said was not new to me, but I have often felt grateful to him for having said it to me just at that time.