What if you don’t like the main character in a novel?

Can  writers still attract readers if the main character is not admirable?  Can readers enjoy a book in which the protagonist is flawed? A recent podcast from ‘The Bookshelf’ (ABC RN  March 15 2019) addresses this issue. Kate Evans and others review ‘Adèle’ by the French-Moroccan author Leïla Slimani, There’s a lot not to like…

How I Wrote ‘Capriccio: A Novel’

THE WRITING OF CAPRICCIO I have written three completely different versions of this novel, over fifteen years, each version entailing many drafts. The first novel was called simply ‘Assia’, and was based on what little I knew of her life. Most of my information came from scholarly works on Hughes or Plath, plus a study…

Sydney Launch of Capriccio

I am still recovering from the excitement of my author event at Waverley Library, Sydney, a few weeks ago. It took the form of a Q&A with the wonderful Susannah Fullerton , guru of all things literary. Capriccio: a Novel was originally launched in Darwin, soon after its publication in September 2018. It was time for…

Author Talk this Sunday 3 Feb

Only 5 days to my author talk with #SusannahFullerton on my novel ‘Capriccio’! @Waverley Library Theatrette, Bondi Junction,Sunday 3 Feb from 2.30 to 4pm. FREE but register now with Eventbrite or at the Library. Arvo tea & books for sale. Come one, come all! You will be able to ask questions about ‘Capriccio: a Novel’…

What’s in a Name?

‘What’s in a name? A rose by any name would smell as sweet.’(WIlliam Shakespeare, Romeo and JulietAct 2, Scene 2) When I was born, several lifetimes it seems to me now, my scholarly grandfather gave me my name. ‘Dina’ he pronounced, ‘after one of our ancestors from the ancient town of Safed in Palestine, now Israel….

Letters from Liz

Ted Hughes by Fay Godwin, Copyright British Library Board IMAGINE my excitement when I received this review from a former girlfriend of Ted’s, who knew my characters in real life, and had met Assia! “My heart soared for the poor girl” she tellingly wrote in this very special email: Dear Dina,  1 am reading your book…

New Reviews of ‘Capriccio: a Novel’

Below are some of my favourite reviews. I am eternally grateful to my readers, fellow authors, and  critics for their heartwarming and insightful feedback: Amazon 5 star Review. A gripping read. This beautifully written work covers so much ground: love, literature, abuse, religion, and the struggle for identity. I found it gripping and poignant, especially knowing…

Assia and Yehuda

Few people realise that Assia Gutmann Wevill was a poet in her own right, and also a talented translator. She spoke Hebrew, German, Arabic, Italian and English, and so was in demand as a translator. Her most acclaimed work was her translations from Hebrew to English of Israel’s major poet, Yehuda Amichai. Interesting to note…

The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Vol 2: The Real Story

The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Vol 2, 1956 – 1963, edited by Peter K. Steinberg and Karen K, Kulkil. Faber & Faber, 2018. This huge volume (well over 1000 words, and too heavy for me to lift)  contains heartrending, fiercely honest, falsely cheerful, and enlightening words from Sylvia to her mother, her brother, her friends,…

A special review

I was thrilled to receive this email from Liz Hicklin, a former girlfriend of Ted Hughes. It gives added meaning to the words “based on a true story”. Liz has given me permission to share our correspondence with you:  Dear Dina, I have just finished your book [Capriccio: A Novel]. I loved it. I knew…