Auckland Writers Festival: Quote of the Session: Petina Gappah

Gappah Petina

Auckland Writers Festival: Sunday 15 May @ 3pm: A Zest for Life: Petina Gappah, Zimbabwe’s answer to Zadie Smith, and author of The Book of Memory, in conversation with Bianca Zander.

On how Petina fits writing into her busy life as a lawyer and mother:

“Since I had my son 12 years ago…I haven’t slept. I’m not as efficient as Margaret Thatcher, who got by on four hours, perhaps that’s why she was so cranky. I get by on about five.” – Petina Gappah

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Auckland Writers Festival: Quote of the Session: In Praise of Ferrante

In Praise of Ferrantee

Auckland Writers Festival: Sunday 15 May @ 1.30pm: In Praise of Ferrante: Ferrante translator Ann Goldstein joins writers Kate de Goldi and Giovanni Tiso to dissect the anonymous author Elena Ferrante’s infamous Neapolitan novels.

“In the beginning she wanted to protect herself and her family. Also, once she’d written the book it was separate from her, it didn’t need her. For myself, I feel the author of the books is a strong personality—for I think it is a she—I feel she is a strong person who is not the narrator. There’s an intelligence behind the writing that is the person. And I don’t need to know anything else.” – Anne Goldstein (Elena Ferrante translator)

Auckland Writers Festival 2016: Quote of the Session: Jenny Haworth

Haworth, Jenny

Auckland Writers Festival: Sunday 15 May @ 10.15am: Recording the War: Jenny Haworth (author and publisher), introduced by Caroline Barron.

“He (Nugent Welsh, war artist) painted these pictures (of bombed out villages and historic buildings) to show the cost of war. That war has no historical respect.” – Jenny Haworth

 

 

Auckland Writers Festival 2016: Quote of the Session: Marlon James

James, Marlon

Auckland Writers Festival 2016: Saturday 14 May @ 10.30am: A History in Seven Killings: Marlon James (Man Booker Prize-winning author) in conversation with Noelle McCarthy.

“You have to risk pornography when writing sex, violence or love. You have to risk going too far. Or you risk failure of nerves, or worse, space-break sex.” – Marlon James

Auckland Writers Festival 2016: Quote of the Session: Vivian Gornick

Gornick, VivianAuckland Writers Festival: Friday 13 May: 4pm: The Odd Woman and the City: Vivian Gornick (New York journalist, essayist and critic) in conversation with Jolisa Gracewood.

“I see New York at eye level. I never look up. On the street the feeling is the same. It’s the blissful anonymity of the crowd. You either attach to it immediately or you don’t. It’s all temperamental.” – Vivian Gornick

 

 

The House that Linette Built (or, Inside the House of my Father’s Birth Mother)

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The Sallies men move through the house like reverent ghosts. ‘We can’t take that,’ they say. ‘It’s ripped. Yep, we can take that.’ Their feet pad the pale carpet, perhaps wary of lurking grief. I try to piece together the left over ephemera into a life, a woman: a splayed grass skirt; a chipped Alsatian ashtray; seven champagne coupes wrapped in newspaper; a box of wooden Tourist Hotel Corporation of New Zealand coat hangers; two black umbrellas; a Stereophonic radiogram, Chas and Dave’s Ain’t No Pleasing You forever on the turntable; a girlish white wedding album stripped of its photographs, spidery black captions beneath plastic: “Had joined a family of three beautiful women, but he chose the original.” She had thought herself beautiful! She thought herself original! The torn corner of a ten-dollar note floats to the ground. Continue reading