I was a guest at a glittering party given by Random House Publishers last Friday night. It was to farewell Margie Seale who is stepping down from the role of MD to become a non-executive Director. I have known Margie since the 1980’s when she joined the book trade as a sales representative for Pan Macmillan. Quite a few authors were present including some I have known for a long time. Included among them were the 3 Davids. David Marr who is well-known for his writing an the SMH has most recently authored the Quarterly Essay on Tony Abbott which resulted in so much controversy. He used to live in Balmain.
David Hill, pictured above, has had many careers. Back in the 1970’s he was involved in a suburban newspaper and he and I discussed going into business together. We didn’t and David went on to become Economic Advisor to Neville Wran, Head of NSW Railways, Chairman and then Managing Director of the ABC and now author. His most recent book is ‘The Great Race’ which is the story of British and French rivalry in mapping Australia – we could so easily have been French!
David Malouf, who would figure prominently in any discussion about who is Australia’s greatest writer, has just completed a most unusual undertaking. He has revised his novel ‘Harland’s Half Acre’ which was first published, to justly great acclaim in 1984. The revised edition will be published in February, David had just completed the writing/editing process on Friday. I asked him why he had gone back to ‘Harland’s…’ and he explained that he was never quite satisfied with it. He has made changes mainly to the middle section and says that while he is still not entirely satisfied it is ‘better’. All I can say is that if it is better than the original then it is sensationally good and something to look forward to!