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Appearing in public

19/08/2013

oldgovernmenthouseOn Wednesday night, 5pm, I am going to go to Old Government House at Auckland University to talk about what it’s like to be a fiction writer in New Zealand at the moment. This is a picture of the venue – the two times I’ve been I went through the side door so I didn’t realise it had a glorious stand of conifers. I have a mixed relationship with conifers – as a child I hated them (they symbolised suburban torpor to me) but now I like them for their density and symmetry. I get particularly excited when I see a conifer with a branch that’s busted out of formation and is waving about in the wind. The most perfect conifers I’ve seen are at Versailles – I was there over 10 years ago when I was pregnant with Otto – these ones would have no chance of rebelling:

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I am going to be talking with three grand dames of NZ literature – Stephanie Johnson, Charlotte Grimshaw and Paula Green. Stephanie’s writing holds a particular place in my heart because when I went to my first writing class at the age of 21, I read her short stories and then her novel and I loved how dark and transgressive and funny it was. It was something I hadn’t yet encountered in New Zealand literature and it was a revelation.

19august001So now I have to think of something clever and eloquent to say. The last time I was on a panel with the incredibly intelligent Charlotte Grimshaw, my inexperience was obvious. I’m hoping that I’ve got better – but maybe I’m doomed to be forever a little bit unsure of myself.

This isn’t my only appearance this week – the next day I fly to Wellington (which experienced a significant earthquake on Friday – thinking of you, Wellingtonians!) to talk about my blog at the Alexander Turnbull Library. That’s at 12pm, Thursday 22 August. I still have to write my talk. I’m going to do that now.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 19/08/2013 9:52 pm

    Is the Government House event open to all comers or a special university event? Crissi http://www.silvertone.co.nz

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