Robert Dessaix is best-known as a writer of literary non-fiction (memoirs, essays and autobiography), but has also published two novels, several short stories and one play.
From 1985 to 1995, after teaching Russian language and literature for many years at the ANU and the University of NSW, he presented the weekly ‘Books and Writing’ program on ABC Radio National. In more recent years he has also written and presented radio series on Australian public intellectuals and great travellers in history, as well as regular programs on language.
His most widely read books, all translated into several European languages, are his autobiography A Mother’s Disgrace and the novels Night Letters and Corfu. His travel memoirs Twilight of Love grew out of a fascination with Russian literature, while Arabesques explores the life of the French writer André Gide. His latest memoir is What Days Are For.