Desmond O’Grady is uniquely placed to interpret Australia for Italians and Italy for Australians. He grew up in suburban Melbourne, but as a journalist, biographer, and writer of fiction he has spent most of his working life in Rome.
In his new book, Correggio Jones and the Runaways, O’Grady brings together a fascinatingly varied group of expatriates’ portraits in order to examine the ideas of identity and place. This is a book about having two countries; about ‘longing and belonging, about changing countries and countries changing’. It is subtly autobiographical: the questions he explores, and the life stories he tells, have obvious personal resonance for O’Grady himself.