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Read Close to home. Aotearoa New Zealand fiction.

Q&A with Susanna Gendall

READ CLOSE: The narrator in The Disinvent Movement is interested in disinventing the world, one thing at a time. This is a wonderful idea – was this the starting point for the novel or did it come to as you explored your character? SUSANNA GENDALL: The sections on the ‘Disinvent Movement’ were the first scenes […]

Book Review: The Disinvent Movement by Susanna Gendall

The Disinvent Movement by Susanna Gendall is a debut novel of poetic force, laced with a Parisian je ne sais quoi. This novel isn’t heavy on plot but do not be deceived: Gendall knows how to make magic. The novel is structured into eighty-one fragments, none longer than three or four pages (most are only […]

Q&A with Meg Mason

READ CLOSE: Sorrow and Bliss is Martha’s story. Tell us how you came to write the book – how you settled on the narrative voice; the structure and the importance of leaving gaps in her experience for the reader; the decisions you made and how the book changed during the writing. MEG MASON: Sorrow and […]

Book Review: Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason

Sorrow and Bliss is the second novel by Meg Mason, a New Zealand writer living in Sydney. On the longlist for the prestigious Jann Medlicott Acorn Award for Fiction at the 2021 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, it’s the story of a woman called Martha: her hollow highs, her life-changing lows, her depression and suicidal […]

Q&A with Fiona Sussman

READ CLOSE: Addressed to Greta is your third novel. How do you see your craft and your focus shifting over your career, and how has it remained the same? FIONA SUSSMAN: At first glance, no one of my novels resembles the others – frustrating for anyone bent on slotting my work into a single genre. […]

Book Review: Addressed to Greta by Fiona Sussman

Bateman Books, NZ RRP $34.99, Contemporary Fiction It’s a storyline straight from a romantic comedy – a socially awkward woman, living alone with her chicken and her spa pool, receives a phone call telling her that her late friend has bequeathed her an all-expenses paid holiday. Destination and length of trip: unknown. Said woman is […]

QandA with Rachel Kerr

READ CLOSE: Your debut novel, Victory Park, began as your MA thesis at the IIML at Victoria University. Tell us about how that year impacted your writing and this novel in particular? RACHEL KERR: Well I was incredibly lucky to have Emily Perkins as my supervisor. From the start, she emphasized the importance of depth […]

Book Review: Victory Park by Rachel Kerr

Mākaro Press, Contemporary Fiction, NZ RRP $35.00 The cover of Victory Park, the debut novel by Rachel Kerr, has an image of the Bowl of Brooklands on it, with two people standing defiantly on the stage. Although this novel is set in Wellington, and not New Plymouth, the two figures in silhouette captured perfectly how […]

QandA with Catherine Chidgey

READ CLOSE: Remote Sympathy is set in Germany during World War II. Was this novel born from the research for your award-winning novel The Wish Child?  CATHERINE CHIDGEY: In part, yes – while researching things medical for The Wish Child I came across a book about cancer treatment in Nazi Germany. Hitler’s mother had died […]

Book Review: Remote Sympathy by Catherine Chidgey

Victoria University Press, RRP $NZ35.00, Historical Fiction/Literary Fiction Catherine Chidgey returns to Germany for Remote Sympathy, the same setting as her Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize-winning novel The Wish Child. Though we’re not in Berlin this time: this novel is set in Buchenwald, a labour camp near Weimar. This remarkable and moving novel features a doctor […]

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