Australian crime writer Gabrielle Lord was awarded the Ned Kelly Lifetime Achievement Award last year for her exceptional body of work. Book Club co-host Walter Mason interviewed Gabrielle Lord as part of his Inspirational Conversations series at Ultimo Library, and here he invited her to offer a sneak preview of books and ideas that have inspired her along the way:
I adored Peter Pan and read it compulsively. As a young woman I loved D.H. Lawrence, Doris Lessing and some of the Americans [including] Steinbeck. My fave was British author Graham Greene but I reread him recently and found him a very depressing author which is not surprising considering he himself suffered from depression.
Any books you’d like to recommend now?
Not really! I no longer read as widely as I once did. I wonder, too, if books aren’t a bit similar to that suggestion from the Buddhists that ‘When the pupil is ready, the teacher appears’? A work that sings for me, might not sing for you. I read mostly non-fiction now.
Have you ever been inspired by a self-help or spiritual book?
The publications from the AA and Al-Anon fellowships are extremely helpful and got me through the early days of recovery nearly 30 years ago now. There is a lot of wisdom there and it’s not aligned with any sect, denomination or creed. I find the Psalms can be friends in moments of sorrow and, in the past, I have also found the Old English elegies comforting in a dark kind of way.
Gabrielle Lord has written fourteen adult novels and a series of novels for young adults called Conspiracy 365.
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