Good Reading : October 2008
8 goodreading ı OCTOBER 2008 me my shelf i michael gow MICHAEL GOW is a director and playwright. He has worked with most of Australia’s leading performance companies and a number of overseas theatre organisations. He is currently Artistic Director of the Queensland Theatre Company, where he has directed numerous plays, including a collaboration with the Bell Shakespeare Company. Author of the award-winning play Away, Michael Gow’s most recent play Toy Symphony premiered at Company B last year, winning seven Sydney Theatre Critics Awards and four Helpmann Awards. What are you reading now, and why? The Arrival of Fergal Flynn by Brian Kennedy. A Priest rescues a [16-year-old] boy from his appalling family in 1980s Belfast. They end up lovers and the boy’s singing talent is discovered. A friend gave it to me after the Bill Henson debate. It makes an uplifting tory out of a no-no subject. ● Who are your favourite authors? J M Coetzee, Ian McEwan, William Burroughs, Pat Barker, Helen Garner, Anton Chekhov, Leo Tolstoy and Philip Roth. ● Which books have had the most influence on your lifestyle or philosophy? Slaughterhouse-Five, one of the wisest books ever So it goes. ● Which author would you most like to meet, and why? Shakespeare – I could clear up all the textual questions. ● Is there a well-known book you never finished or did not enjoy? The God of Small Things. I just couldn’t get into I can’t stand Tolkien, never got more than a uarter of the way into The Lord f the Rings. ● When you were a child what did you enjoy reading? Greek mythology, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Doctor Dolittle and [children’s author] E Nesbit, especially The Railway Children and Five Children and It . ● What is your all-time favourite book? [Kurt Vonnegut’s] Slaughterhouse-Five. So seemingly casual, randomly put together, but so powerful by the end. So it goes. ● What are your favourite biographies by actors? I never read them. ● If you had one book that you could give to an spiring actor, what would it be? aughterhouse-Five . Do you have a favourite film of a book, nd if so why? Bernado Bertolucci’s film of Alberto Moravia’s The Conformist. One of the ten best films ever made. ● Where are most of the books in your home? In my living/dining room. But they’re taking over my bedroom now. ● Looking at the books on your shelves, is there any one category that dominates? I love books about anything – I’m addicted. ● How are the books on your shelves organised – or aren’t they? The chaos theory of book management. ● Where is your favourite place to read and where do you do most of your reading? Anywhere the light is good. ● Do you have a favourite bookshop? (In Australia and/or overseas) Amazon. I love getting packages with great books inside from all over the place. Michael Gow’s latest play Toy Symphony is ublished by Currency Press, rrp 21.95.