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This page is part of the 2009 FESTIVAL ARCHIVE.
Visit the current Melbourne Writers Festival website for details of the next festival.

Robert Dessaix

Robert Dessaix
Robert Dessaix is a writer, translator, broadcaster and occasional essayist. From 1985 to 1995, after teaching Russian language and literature for many years at the Australian National University and the University of New South Wales, he presented the weekly Books and Writing program on ABC Radio National. In more recent years he has also presented radio series on Australian public intellectuals and great travelers in history, as well as regular programs on language.

His best-known books, all translated into several European languages, are his autobiography A Mother’s Disgrace, the novels Night Letters and Corfu, a collection of essays and short stories (and so forth) and, most recently, the travel memoir Twilight of Love which grew out of his fascination with Turgenev and Russian literature. He has also published translations of works by Dostoyevsky, Turgenev and a number of Russian poets, and his translations of plays by Anton Chekhov have been produced in theatres around Australia.

A full-time writer since 1995, Robert Dessaix lives in Hobart, Tasmania. His most recent travel memoir, Arabesques, is an exploration of themes connected with the life of the French writer André Gide.

"Ultimately Arabesques is a book about home and not home, happiness, ageing and journeying to know what is true and enduring."
Courier Mail, Christopher Bantick


Robert Dessaix will be appearing in:

Robert Dessaix set off to visit the places where Gide lived out his unconventional ideas about love, sexuality and religion.
Robert Dessaix set off to visit the places where Gide lived out his unconventional ideas about love, sexuality and religion.
Why does good conversation matter?
Robert Dessaix, Wendy Harmer and Jonathan Green.
Robert Dessaix, Wendy Harmer and Jonathan Green.