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Read Close to home. Aotearoa New Zealand fiction.

Q&A with Angelique Kasmara

READ CLOSE: Isobar Precinct is set in a very gritty, dark but sexy Auckland. How does the city inform the story you’re telling, and were you ever tempted to set the book in another place? KASMARA: Ha! Lestari and her friends are people who work too hard, for whom a ‘night out’ is grabbing a […]

Book Review: Isobar Precinct by Angelique Kasmara

The Cuba Press, NZ RRP $37.00 In her ambitious debut Isobar Precinct, Angelique Kasmara speculates about the myriad ways we heal from loss and trauma, what autonomy people should have over their bodies, and if it’s possible to accept regret for the way we have lived. Isobar Precinct is science fiction that’s flirting with literary […]

Q&A with Bridget van der Zijpp

READ CLOSE: I Laugh me Broken is set in Berlin. Tell us about why you chose this city, and what modern Berlin offers to your story. VAN DER ZIJPP: I had an idea for a novel about somebody who, as an adult, finds out they are at risk of a devastating genetic disease which completely […]

Book Review: I Laugh Me Broken by Bridget van der Zijpp

Victoria University Press, NZ RRP $30.00 Learning how to live in the discomfort of the unknown fuels the plot of Bridget van der Zijpp’s third novel, I Laugh Me Broken, a book that explores the burden of genetics in our past and our future, and whether there’s a moral duty to know our fate. Ginny’s […]

Q&A with Rosetta Allan

READ CLOSE: Crazy Love is your third novel – tell us about how you and your writing have changed or stayed the same in that time, and if/how this novel differs from your first. ROSETTA ALLAN: My first novel, Purgatory, was published seven years ago. The second, The Unreliable People, was two years ago. Both […]

Book Review: Crazy Love by Rosetta Allan

Published by Penguin Random House, NZ RRP $36.00 Auckland based writer Rosetta Allan has mined her past for her third novel, Crazy Love. It’s a punk love story set against the political backdrop of economic policies that keep us down and out, a brutally dark novel about poverty, second chances, and mental illness. Written in […]

Q&A with Sue Orr

READ CLOSE: Loop Tracks is set over different time periods – and the closest to present day takes place in 2020, during the level 4 and level 3 lockdowns. There’s been a lot of writers discussing how to manage the pandemic in their fiction, can you tell us about your decision to include this in […]

Book Review: Loop Tracks by Sue Orr

Published by Victoria University Press, NZRRP $35.00 If you Google Loop Track, the first page of results is now, understandably, about the new novel Loop Tracks from Wellington novelist, Sue Orr. The next page takes us to walking and tramping websites: Veronica Loop Track, Mangamate Loop Track, Lindemann Loop Track. A trail that loops around, […]

Q&A with Rebecca K Reilly

READ CLOSE: Greta & Valdin is your debut novel about family, love and friendship. We’d love to hear more from about how this novel came into being – the characters, the story, the writing process. REBECCA K REILLY: I always have to start by thinking up a character as thoroughly and completely as I can […]

Book Review: Greta & Valdin by Rebecca K Reilly

Victoria University Press, RRP NZ$30.00 Contemporary Fiction This debut novel exploring the particular nuance of modern romance and the dynamics of an eccentric and worldly family sets itself apart immediately with its animated style and biting observational humour. Greta & Valdin, by Rebecca K Reilly (Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Wai), is set in the author’s city […]

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