Crime fiction with a blind policeman is just what the doctor ordered

Minotaur author Peter Goldsworthy set for Adelaide Writers' Week

Book Reviews
BOOKED IN: Peter Goldsworthy will be appearing at Adelaide Writers' Week to talk about his book Minotaur. Photo: Jeff Estanislao

BOOKED IN: Peter Goldsworthy will be appearing at Adelaide Writers' Week to talk about his book Minotaur. Photo: Jeff Estanislao

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Author and GP Dr Peter Goldsworthy will be at Adelaide Writers' Week to discuss his latest novel, Minotoau

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PETER Goldsworthy has always tried to keep his writing fresh.

Not not the kind to be bound by genre, he has published works in a number of forms, from poetry and short stories, to novels and even opera libretto.

The critically acclaimed and author will join the smorgasbord of literary talent taking part in Adelaide Writers' Week events at the Pioneer Women's Memorial Garden.

Dr Goldsworthy will present a poetry reading at 5pm on March 3 and will discuss his latest novel, Minotaur, from 1.15pm on March 4.

A general practitioner and writer, he was born in Minlaton and lives in Adelaide.

His first novel, Maestro, is an Australian classic.

He has since built a reputation for writing genre-bending, expectation-defying works which are literary, highly readable and delivered with a healthy dose of humour.

In Minotaur, he explores the realm of crime fiction in a story about revenge which features a blind police officer.

"I wanted to write something with the propulsion of a Jason Bourne novel, but with a deeper structural resonance," he said. "Blindness is such a good metaphor for so many things."

Dr Goldsworthy describes the novel as "pretend" crime fiction. The lead character was inspired by a blind patient who taught him to tap a cane and a friend who was a police officer.

His love of writing dates back to his youth.

He used to write science fiction inspired stories about he and his friends travelling around the galaxy at the age of 11 or 12, in good-natured competition with a friend.

Dr Goldsworthy developed a love of writing poetry while studying medicine.

After starting his medical career, he became interested in writing short fiction and eventually novels.

"It took me a while to realise there was an extra pleasure in the novel - the pleasure of getting lost in another world."

He said writing novels requires a certain obsession with a particular subject. Writing one was exhausting and at times frustrating.

"The best reason to publish is that you stop tampering with the novel," he said.

"Every time you read them, you change something else.

"It's easier to get the satisfaction of true completion out of a short story - to get to the point where it's like a piece of furniture ... it fits perfectly together."

Dr Goldsworthy, who is being treated for myeloma, is now working on a "cancer diary" about his experiences fighting the disease.

He describes the entries as "not poems as such; more meditations which are oblique and darkly humorous".

Adelaide Writers' Week, part of the Adelaide Festival, will feature acclaimed authors from Australia and overseas. It takes place from February 29-March 5.

For details and a full program of writers, click here.

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