MANSFIELD AND ME: A GRAPHIC MEMOIR (published by VUP in October 2016)
“Katherine Mansfield is a literary giant in New Zealand—but she had to leave the country to become one. She wrote, ‘Oh to be a writer, a real writer.’ And a real writer she was, until she died at age 34 of tuberculosis. The only writer Virginia Woolf was jealous of, Mansfield hung out with the modernists, lost her brother in World War I, dabbled in Alistair Crowley’s druggy occult gatherings and spent her last days in a Fontainebleu commune with Olgivanna, Frank Lloyd Wright’s future wife. She was as famous for her letters and diaries as for her short stories. Sarah Laing wanted to be a real writer, too. A writer as famous as Katherine Mansfield, but not as tortured. Mansfield and Me charts her journey towards publication and parenthood against Mansfield’s dramatic story, set in London, Paris, New York and New Zealand. Part memoir, part biography, part fantasy, it examines how our lives connect to those of our personal heroes.”
“Sarah Laing’s gorgeous, playful drawings and self-deprecating humour lightly mask a complex meditation on writing, celebrity and the conscious construction of self. A very New Zealand coming-of-age story: brilliant, funny, thoughtful and smart.”
– Dylan Horrocks, author of Hicksville and Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen.
THE FALL OF LIGHT: A NOVEL (published by Vintage July 2013)
Rudy is a successful architect, but life is not as happy as it should be. His work leaves him artistically frustrated, his wife and two young daughters have moved out of the house he designed for them, and his pushy young associate is vying for design supremacy. When a Vespa accident puts him into hospital and forces him to recuperate at home, he looks in danger of losing everything, but it is then that his repressed artistic yearnings start to make their presence felt, not just in the glass creations he begins to craft, but also in his strange, vivid dreams.
This is a terrific novel in its own right, but with Sarah Laing’s superb ink-wash drawings, interspersing the text, it offers an additional and intriguingly innovative way to tell a story.”
DEAD PEOPLE’S MUSIC: A NOVEL (published by Vintage April 2009)
“Classical is karaoke – just playing covers of dead people’s music – or so Wellingtonian Rebecca concluded at her London conservatorium. She’s sabotaged her scholarship there, but wants to keep playing the cello, like her grandmother, Klara. Now unmoored from her classical training, she’s in New York City, where Klara grew up. As Rebecca investigates her Jewish-refugee heritage, she starts to compose her own songs, but has to contend with diabetes and other burning issues: is she with the right man, or should she swap stability for lust? And how much longer can she live with a neurotic, junk-scavenging flatmate, on the verge of murdering another zebra fish?”
COMING UP ROSES: COLLECTED STORIES (published by Vintage July 2007)
‘Imagine that you’re a statistic,’ says one of the characters in these quirky, haunting stories of people whose inner lives let them escape the boxes that others put them into. The single mum, the student working in the pie factory, the newborn baby, the dying woman, the Kiwi alone in New York and many others pass through these stories and in doing so let us enter their lives.
THREE WORDS: AN ANTHOLOGY OF AOTEAROA/NZ WOMEN’S COMICS (co-edited with Rae Joyce and Indira Neville; published in March 2016 by Beatnik)
THE CURIOSEUM: COLLECTED STORIES OF THE ODD AND MARVELLOUS (illustrator and designer – edited by Adrienne Jansen; published by Te Papa Press, March 2014)
“What happens when you let a group of writers loose ‘backstage’ in a museum? Te Papa invited twenty-two of New Zealand’s best children’s authors to spend a day in the Museum’s collections, and to choose one of the museum’s taonga (treasures) as a starting point for an imaginative journey.
The result is a truly original compendium of stories and poems for 8–12 year olds, with whimsical illustrations from award-winning Sarah Laing. It’s a unique collaboration between Te Papa Press and the Whitireia Creative Writing and Publishing Programmes.”