Wild About Books – essays on books and writing, about reading them and writing them, and publishing them and collecting them and preserving them in libraries. Essays about the shared experience of literature, the art and craft of writing, the pleasures of reading, the survival of five hundred years of print culture, together with reflections and suggestions on creative writing, on what to do, and how to do it, and on what I’ve done, and why I wrote this book and how I wrote that one, together with anecdotes from other writers’ experiences, from writers in person, and from the books they have written.
‘What strikes one first … is Wilding’s keen sense of literary integrity … an ironic, witty, highly educated, and in its indirect way, passionate authorial persona who has believed in literature as a life of principle, has seen many of the bases of that belief assaulted by abstruse theory, trendy anti-realism, and sinecure-seeking cynicism, and yet still in the face of everything, is able to make the affirming act through the agency of fiction … No one in English writes better fiction about the process of writing than Wilding.’ – Don Graham, Antipodes
‘A career that is remarkable for how prolific and innovative it has been in so many areas, whether Wilding was working as a short story writer, novelist, critic, editor, commentator, anthologist, or publisher. Few Australian writers have successfully ventured so much and for so long. Moreover, a surprising coherence exists among this variety. Wilding’s work is driven by his political radicalism, which seems as much to do with a probing, sometimes acrid, intelligence, as sentiment.’ – Peter Pierce, Dictionary of Literary Biography