Murdoch Stephens: WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival

WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival kicks off on 27 August. We’ve asked three quick questions of festival guests:

Murdoch Stephens – editor-in-chief of Lawrence & Gibson

Cover of Peace, Power, and politicsWhat (or who) are you most looking forward to at WORD Christchurch?

There are so many amazing speakers lined up. I’m most excisted about NZ non-fiction such as Marie Leadbeater in conversation with Nicky Hager and Barnaby Bennett’s chaired session of Free Range Press authors. That said, I’m looking forward to a last hurrah with outgoing NZ Listener Books and Culture editor Guy Somerset who is chairing our panel discussion and is on the ‘Reading Favourites’ panel. He’s been a big supporter of Lawrence & Gibson since his first review of Richard Meros’ On the conditions and possibilities of Helen Clark taking me as her Young Lover.

What do you think about libraries?

Libraries are an incredible oddity in that they exist as an institution for the idealistic and common good. The library is a rare common fund where money is no object as long as people are willing to share. This leads me to want to accept Jorges Luis Borges’ statement that he always imagined Paradise to be some kind of library.

Share a surprising fact about yourself.

Fact! My first name comes from my maternal grandmother. Surprise! My parents’ accountants won the right to choose that name after winning a round of poker.

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