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Ramona Koval (born 1954, Melbournemarker) is an Australian broadcaster, writer and journalist.

Koval is known for her extended and in-depth interviews with significant writers. She has had a long and varied career on air in Australia on ABC Radio Australian Broadcasting Corporationmarker. She was presenter of the Radio National Drive program and the morning presenter on Melbourne's 3LO (now 774 ABC Melbourne) through the late 1980s and early 1990s. She became a fixture in the literary world after joining ABC Radio National's Books and Writing in 1994. Ramona now presents The Book Show, introduced by ABC Radio National in 2006 to consolidate its various book programs. The Book Show is the world's only daily radio program devoted to the books, writing and publishing.


Koval has written several books, including a novel, Samovar, and a cookbook Jewish Cooking, Jewish Cooks. She has written for many newspapers and international journals, and her interviews have been published in book form. Her latest collection of Radio National interviews is Tasting Life Twice: Conversations with Remarkable Writers, published by ABC Books (2005).

Koval has travelled overseas extensively and brought home fascinating conversations with some of the most exciting and respected authors writing in English, and she has made several radio documentaries. She is an active participant in the various Australian literary festivals, and has been invited to take part in the Edinburgh International Book Festival for the last 7 years, and Montreal's Blue Metropolis literary festival for the past 3 years.

In 1995 Koval won the Order of Australia Media Award for a series of radio programs entitled "Writing from the Centre" and broadcast on ABC Radio National.

Koval has served on the board of the Australian Book Review, and has served on the Victorian Premier's Literary Award Advisory Committee, and the Asialink Awards Literary Committee. She has judged the radio section of the Walkley Awards twice, and been a judge of non-fiction for the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards twice, once as chair of the committee. Her interviews are regularly published in transcript in Australian Book Review, among other publications, and on the Web.

In 2002 Koval was elected to the position of staff-elected Director on the ABC Board. She held this position during a period of intense controversy, until the position was abolished in 2006 following an amendment to the ABC Act by the Howard Government.

In 2006 ABC Radio National pooled its considerable literary expertise to create The Book Show and asked Koval to be the presenter.

In 2008 she was invited to be one of 1000 people taking part in the Australia 2020 summit to "help shape a long term strategy for the nation's future" .


  • Eating Your Heart Out - Food, Shape and the Body Industry. Penguin 1985.
  • One to One. ABC Books 1993.
  • Too Many Walnuts. Heinemann 1993.
  • Samovar. Minerva - Heinemann 1996.
  • 'Thighs and Whispers'. In The Greatest Game, edited by Ross Fitzgerald and Ken Spillman. William Heinemann Australia 1988.
  • Jewish Cooking, Jewish Cooks. New Holland Press 2001.
  • 'The Sarajevo Haggadah'. Brick Number 70 Winter 2002.
  • 'Pythagoras and The Turtle'. In The Giffith Review. Summer 2003-2004.
  • 'The Sarajevo Haggadah'. In The Best Australian Essays. Edited Robert Dessaix. Black Ink 2004.
  • Tasting Life Twice - Conversations With Remarkable Writers. ABC Books 2005.
  • In Praise of the Common Reader - Overland Lecture. Overland Number 189 2007.*[606795] (Transcript)
  • Jewish Cooking, New Holland Press, 2009



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