I’ve stared reading Randolph Stow’s The Merry Go Round in the Sea. I can’t remember why I stopped reading it four years ago. I knew then that it was brilliant, but for some reason I didn’t have the energy.

His prose is exquisite; it’s amazing that such a brilliant writer has written about Western Australia, has walked these same streets as me. He evokes childhood with this preciseness of sensation and experience.

I feel sad thinking about Stow. He wrote four or five brilliant novels before he was thirty and then only a handful since. I wonder what happened. Why did he stop? Did he discover there were more important things to do? Or did his muse flee him?

A family legend has it that his grandmother boarded with my great-grandmother for a time. I must find out precise details from my Granny. I feel honoured to have a connection to him.