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Rosemary Sorensen

Men are running scared, says David Foster, in the wake of ‘uppity’ women who want to emasculate them. In conversation with him about his new book, Mates of Mars, Rosemary Sorensen contemplates the rules and codes of chivalric fighting.

David is a little defensive as he answers the door to me in Bundanoon, where he lives with Gerda and hordes of children. He’s not too impressed with literary critics, and academics leave him cold. But he knows that there’s a game called publicity and if people are going to find out about his new novel, then he will have to tolerate the prying and jostling of people such as myself. I’d already told him that I think Mates of Mars is outrageously good, but I could see in his face he thought that might have been an angle I was using, a feint, a sly positioning so that I could manoeuvre myself into a perfect position to kick him in the groin. David Foster is very, very wary of women.

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Would it surprise you to know that a number of our well-known writers write to please themselves? Probably not. If there’s no pleasure, or challenge, or stimulus, the outcome would probably not be worth the effort. If this effort is writing, it seems especially unlikely that someone would engage in the activity without enjoying the chance to be their own audience.

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