Broadsheet: What are two all-time favourite books you'll often recommend?
Benjamin Law: Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. It’s such a devastating and forensic portrait of a relationship collapsing, with such incredibly accurate fight scenes. Any novelist, screenwriter or playwright will tell you how impossible it is to capture an argument, and Yates makes it look effortless. I don’t recommend it if you’ve recently gotten married, though.
Anything by David Sedaris. He manages to walk that perfect tightrope between savage and touching, outrageously funny and heart-splittingly sad. And he writes about family so beautifully – he was one of the reasons I wanted to be a writer in the first place. (To newcomers, I’d probably start with Me Talk Pretty One Day or Naked).
BS: What's the one book you're looking forward to reading this summer?
BL: Emily Maguire’s latest novel An Isolated Incident. I don’t usually read crime, and she doesn’t usually write it, but I opened it up the other day on holidays and couldn’t stop. I’d read anything Emily writes – she’s one of Australia’s most consistently interesting and absorbing writers.
BS: What are you most excited to do this summer? And least looking forward to?
BL: What I’m doing right now? Sweet fuck all in a tropical island in Thailand. Least looking forward to? Getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. My mum says they always go after healthy people. If that’s the case, I’m outrageously fit.
Books in photo provided by Happy Valley.