Anne Perry Revealed?

Find The sheen on the silk at Christchurch City LibrariesThe World Cinema Showcase has just started in Christchurch and one of the documentaries sounds fascinating, with a local connection (library and Christchurch) which can’t be beat. Anne Perry – Interiors is a portrait of the successful detective fiction writer who was revealed a few years ago to be Juliet Hulme of the notorious Parker-Hulme murder.

It might seem a bit gruesome to keep revisiting a murderer but the combination of folie a deux, matricide, teenage girl killers and staid 1950s Christchurch, plus adult redemption has proved irresistible to writers, readers and film makers over the years.

The connection with the library has come from several directions. Peter Jackson researched “Heavenly Creatures” in our New Zealand collection and due to pressure of interest over the years the original information file of original newspaper reports of the trial has been digitised on the library website.

Anne Perry has had a successful career writing novels featuring Victorian detectives Thomas Pitt and William Monk. She is a prolific writer and we have many of her works including in large print and audio book format.  Her latest novel The sheen on the silk has ventured into 13th century Byzantium.

The film programme says:

Filmmaker Dana Linkiewicz has snuggled very closely into the comfort zone that Perry has created for herself. Tellingly attentive to her subject’s insistence on routine and decorum, she has emerged with an absolutely fascinating portrait of the artist and the devoted circle of three that supports her. The question of how the hunger for exoneration shapes her life and fuels her work hovers suggestively in every elegant frame.

4 thoughts on “Anne Perry Revealed?

  1. Lynne 16 April 2010 / 5:56 pm

    I can’t understand why people are still so obsessed with the Parker-Hulme murder. There was a scurrilous article in the Listener lately about how murder-prone Christchurch is (statistics don’t actually support this view, but why let facts get in the way of a good story) and the Parker-Hulme murder was trotted out yet again as “proof” that there is some evil dark force at work in this “staid, Anglican” city. It was over sixty years ago, fer cryin’ out loud!

  2. Marion 19 April 2010 / 11:27 am

    Hi – I’m not Christchurch born and make no claim to being obsessed with the story. I did go to the documentary and found it a fascinating portrait of person (well a group of people) and a writer. Anne Perry seemed to me to be a very powerful and controlling (and controlled) personality. I wasn’t sure I brought her “I made a terrible mistake and I have spent my life seeking redemption” line. Christchurch doesn’t feature in the documentary – the murder is mentioned as taking place in New Zealand, thats all. Re “crimechurch” – read Bill Ralston in the latest Listener for a laugh.

  3. richard greenaway 22 April 2010 / 6:51 pm

    The obsession with the murder is a result of the fact that, in 1954, 16 year old girls were supposed not to have dark thoughts and, certainly, not to act them out. A shocking murder of the mid ’60s, which gets some attention was that of Aberhart in Hagley Park. A homosexual, he sought another man. A group of young thugs sought a ‘queer’ whom they could kill. They were tried for manslaughter and not murder and the prosecutor thought that he had to defend the character of the deceased. The men were found not guilty. There was much outrage, letters to the editor and an acclaimed editorial by Monte Holcroft in the New Zealand listener. Those men, now in their mid to late 60s, may still be with us.

  4. Jacqui 23 April 2010 / 11:17 am

    I went, with other FE collegues, to the documentary. I found it a fascinating study of a person living with such a crime for decades. It showed a woman in her early seventies who has constructed a carefully controlled life, with only a few people in a tight circle revolving round her needs and desires. Anne Perry is an obssessive writer, doing very little else in her life and the doco had a claustraphobic depressing feel to it, which matched what I felt her life had become.
    Her best friend of 35 years lived across the lane in her rural community in Scotland and said that her life revolved around what Anne wanted and needed. It did put me in mind very much of the relationship she had with Pauline Parker, her partner in crime all those years ago.
    I did not feel a lot of sympathy for her, but I did for those around her!

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