Author of The Rosie Project, The Rosie Effect, The Best of Adam Sharp, Two Steps Forward
Favourite Australian book
The Rosie Project changed my life... but I guess you’d rather I looked a little wider. I really find the 'favourite' thing hard. I tend not to re-read books and my taste has changed so much over time, but that doesn’t diminish the importance of books that spoke to me at a younger age that I might no longer enjoy. I liked Tim Winton’s Dirt Music and gave it as a gift to overseas friends... but I feel uncomfortable bestowing ‘favourite Australian Book’ on it – sorry!
Desert island book
There’s a practical part of me that would choose a manual on desert-island survival, but the novelist in me thinks this could be a good time to tackle something substantial, like the Complete Works of Shakespeare. And then that practical side says 'Why not something in another language, which you'd inevitably master as you read?' I speak some French, so maybe Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. I got through the first volume, a long time ago, but not so long ago that I’ve forgotten the experience. Shakespeare.
Well, I can call him a literary hero since he’s won the Nobel Prize for Literature now. Bob Dylan has long been a hero of mine, providing a model of a creative life with peaks, troughs, introspection and reinvention. My writing heroes have changed over a lifetime of reading, but I’ve always admired those who can tell a compelling story while examining profound issues. When I was 15, Albert Camus was the first of these – I've not re-read him. If you're going to have heroes it’s sometimes wise not to look too closely.