North & South: November 2015: The Heart of the Matter with Paula Morris

In a strange colliding of worlds I interviewed my teacher at the time, Paula Morris, for The Heart of the Matter. Paula is as funny and candid in an interview as she is in class. If you haven’t read her masterpiece, Rangatira (2011), the summer break is the perfect time to rectify that!

More lovewordsmusic Paula Morris book reviews:

Forbidden Cities (2008)

On Coming Home (2015)2015_11_North&South_Paula Morris

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The Heart of the Matter: In Conversation with Alec Patric

In a month long two-way email interview with award winning Melbourne author Alec Patric, I uncover writing craft inspiration and a mutual love of beautifully crafted guitars. Patric is the author of Black Rock White City (2015),  acclaimed novella Bruno Kramzer (2013),  Las Vegas for Vegans (2012) and The Rattler & Other Stories (2011).

Alec Patric. Image copyright Alec Patric

Alec Patric. Image copyright Alec Patric

Caroline Barron: Tomorrow is Saturday, the beginning of the school holidays. We’re heading off as a family to Lake Rotoiti, which is in the middle of the North Island. Maori legend has it that a young warrior was hunting for delicacies for his pregnant wife when his dog ran off chasing a Kiwi through the forest. When the dog returned a few hours later, wet and sicking up half-digested fish, the warrior realised there must be a lake nearby and searched the forest until he found Lake Rotoiti (and Lake Rotorua). So, tomorrow, I have no work commitments and it’s looking like the perfect day.
Saturday, no work commitments; how does the perfect day look?
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Book Review: Body & Soul by Frank Conroy (1993)

Five stars. Amazing. Body & Soul by Frank Conroy

Five stars. Amazing. Body & Soul by Frank Conroy

Of course Conroy was an accomplished jazz pianist. There is no chance a non-musician could write such a vivid story about a musically gifted little boy and about music the way Conroy does. I studied music through to my last year of school; I sing, play piano and guitar. Body & Soul gave me so many ‘a-ha!’ moments; musical moments I did not think could be put into words: Continue reading

Book Review: On Coming Home by Paula Morris

Paula Morris (image credit Mike Brooke)

Paula Morris (image credit Mike Brooke)

On Coming Home is an elegantly-written and deeply moving essay on returning home to New Zealand after almost thirty years abroad, by the award-winning author of Rangitira and Queen of Beauty, Paula Morris.

Morris sifts through time for examples of ex-pat writers and what it meant to them and their work to return home, in order to guide or decode her own experience of coming home. Continue reading

Arriving at the Mid-Point (and Other Tales from a Master in Creative Writing Class)

Hurrah! A profile page on the University of Auckland website (thanks Jonathan Burgess):

http://www.arts.auckland.ac.nz/en/about/our-students-and-graduates/postgraduate-students-3/caroline-barron.html

I am now half-way through my Master in Creative Writing at the University of Auckland. The goal: finish the novel by mid-November. 85,000 words. I’m 30,000 in and it feels like I’m just hitting my stride; after a year or more of research and thinking about Evelyn and Morgan, my two protagonists, I know exactly who they are and can hear their thoughts in my mind as I write. It’s like everything before has been pressure on the ocean, and now the wave is finally visible from the shore. The sand under my feet feels good and during the five weeks between semesters, I’m grabbing my surfboard, baby.

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Book Review: ‘Forbidden Cities’ by Paula Morris

Obsession

Three books in and I’m not finished my Morris-a-thon yet. I get a bit like that. At aged 7 it was Garfield. Aged 17 it was Plath. Aged 21, the Beat Generation. Aged 28, The Rolling Stones. And at 32 it was the Lost Generation and Paris in the 20s. I love reading or listening to everything I can by, and about, one author or one band. I love being able to recreate lives and times through a particular artist’s work and to feel the borders of my personal world bend and stretch outwards with new understanding. Paula Morris isn’t quite an ‘obsession’ to the level that F. Scott Fitzgerald is, but her voice has driven me to read three of her works and leaves me with a desire for more.  Continue reading