A trio of writers from the South Island are set to take to the stage at the 2011 Auckland Writers and Readers Festival to talk about their recently published books which all have the connecting theme of ‘outsiders’.
Charlotte Randall is a novelist whose first book Dead Sea Fruit (1995) won the Reed Fiction Award and Best First Book Award in the South East Asia/Pacific section of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Her second novel The Curative and fourth novel What Happen then Mr Bones? were runners-up in the fiction section of the Montana Book Awards (2001 & 2005 respectively). Her latest novel – Hokitika Town – is about a boy called Halfie and is set during the gold rush in 1865 Hokitika.
Emma Neal is a poet and prose writer who has had writing published extensively and was the inaugural recipient of the New Zealand Society of Authors Janet Frame Memorial Award for Literature in 2008. Her new novel Fosterling is about a young man found unconscious in a remote forest, who is seven-foot tall and hairy!
Laurence Fearnley is an author and curator who has written extensively on New Zealand craft artists and has received many awards and grants for her work. Her seventh novel The Hut Builder focuses on a southern small town (Fairlie) and its most famous inhabitant – the butcher/poet who climbed to the summit of Mt Cook with Edmund Hillary.
All three novels have male protagonists, so I’m keen to listen to the authors talk about their work, and hear if they had any difficulties writing from a male point of view. Also, the stereotypical image of a southern man revolves around beer, horses, dogs and countryside found in the Southern Alps – a far cry from downtown Auckland, mate! I have no doubt that they will offer a wholly more sensitive image – of men living in interesting times.