Recent necrology, July 2012

coverA list of people who have died recently:

  • Maeve Binchy, 1940-2012
    Irish novelist, columnist and speaker. She was best known for her humorous take on small-town life in Ireland
  • Ernest Borgnine, 1915-2012
    Hollywood actor who thrived on villainous roles but won an Oscar for playing a big softie
  • Herbert Breslin, 1924-2012
    Agent who helped turn Pavarotti into a superstar but later dished the dirt on him and other leading singers
  • William James Gardner, 1915-2012
    Christchurch academic and historian
  • James Grout, 1927-2012
    Character actor who played Inspector Morse’s avuncular superintendent
  • Celeste Holm, 1919-2012
    Actress who starred in Oklahoma! on Broadway and partnered Frank Sinatra in High Society
  • coverColin Horsley, 1920-2012
    New Zealand born pianist who was much in demand at London concert halls and at the Proms
  • Geoffrey Hughes, 1944-2012
    Character actor who became a mainstay of Coronation Street as the lovable binman Eddie Yeats
  • Evelyn Lear, 1926-2012
    American soprano who specialised in ‘neurotic modern heroines’ and also excelled in Strauss
  • Jon Lord, 1941-2012
    Founding keyboardist of Deep Purple, the influential rock band once billed as ‘loudest in the world’
  • Margaret Mahy, 1936-2012
    Much loved children’s author, storyteller and librarian whosehumorous, quirky fantasies delighted children and
    and their parents
  • Angharad Rees, 1949-2012
    Actress who starred in Poldark, the Cornish saga that captivated the nation, and later became a jeweller
  • Eric Sykes, 1923-2012
    Comedian and scriptwriter who formed a famous television partnership with Hattie Jacques
  • Mary Tamm, 1950-2012
    ‘Time Lady’ who accompanied Doctor Who on his quest to help restore the equilibrium of the universe
  • coverE.V. Thompson, 1931-2012
    Author of historical romances who took to writing after stints with the Navy and the Bristol Vice Squad
  • Gore Vidal, 1925-2012
    Writer and commentator who courted controversy with his waspish views on the decline and fall of American civilisation
  • Simon Ward, 1941-2012
    Actor who was on the threshold of stardom as Young Winston but had little appetite for fame
  • Kitty Wells, 1919-2012
    Country music star who fought women’s corner in song and inspired Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton

Writer’s festivals aren’t just for adults

There is a great line-up for The Press Christchurch Writers Festival this year, and not just for adults.  Christchurch school children get the chance to listen to some of our best writers read their stories aloud, and some of our international guests are just as well-known for their children’s stories as they are for their adult novels.

John Boyne, Joanne Harris and our own Rachael King are all fantastic writers who write unique and interesting stories, both for adults and children. John Boyne is probably most well-known as the author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and in the last couple of years John has also written two stories for children, called Noah Barleywater Runs Away and The Terrible Thing That Happened To Barnaby Brocket.  John is also known for his adult novels, including The House of Special Purpose and The Absolutist.

Joanne Harris is known for her adult novels, including Chocolat and Five Quarters of an Orange, but many of you may not know that she has also written two teenage novels featuring Norse gods, called Runemarks and Runelight.

Our very own local author, Rachael King, has also recently published her first children’s novel, called Red Rocks, which is just as amazing as her adult novels, The Sound of Butterflies and Magpie Hall.

As well as the sessions with these authors I’ll be attending the Read Aloud Schools Programme (featuring Gavin Bishop, Rachael King and Kate De Goldi) and the Why YA? panel, where John Boyne, Jane Higgins and Helen Lowe will discuss Young Adult literature as a genre.  I’m also very excited to be interviewing John Boyne about his books for young readers and his writing.

Follow our pre-, during, and post-Festival words: