Quick Questions with Lloyd Jones – WORD Christchurch

CoverWe are asking quick questions of writers and thinkers coming to the WORD Christchurch Festival 2018 (Wednesday 29 August to Sunday 2 September).

Lloyd Jones is one of New Zealand’s most internationally successful contemporary writers. He has published essays and children’s books as well as adult fiction but his best-known work is the phenomenally successful novel, Mister Pip. The Cage is his most recent novel.

Lloyd Jones. Image supplied.
Lloyd Jones. Image supplied.

What are you looking forward to doing in Christchurch?

I’ll be at the writers festival, but if I have a chance I will go for a wander in lovely Hagley Park.

What do you think about libraries?

The question betrays a concern about the place of libraries – and books – and their decline in our community.  Less than a decade ago, few would have questioned the place of libraries. The sad and unavoidable fact is book-reading has lost its centrality to our culture. In NZ, few people read. Literature is marginalised in the school curriculum. Few teachers read. Fewer still are able to argue for the place of literature in the lives of anyone let alone young people. But to answer the question, I love libraries – at least those ones still with books on their shelves.  I’ve always thought that, collectively, all the libraries in the world offer a repository for Human kind’s thinking aloud.

What would be your desert island book?

One with blank pages or the collected works of Shakespeare.

Share a surprising fact about yourself.

I used to have hair.

Lloyd Jones’ sessions at WORD Christchurch Festival 2018

Lloyd Jones in conversation with John Campbell Friday 31 August 1pm

The Freedom Papers Sunday 2 September 1pm

Quick Questions with Rajorshi Chakraborti – WORD Christchurch

CoverWe are asking quick questions of writers and thinkers coming to the WORD Christchurch Festival 2018 (Wednesday 29 August to Sunday 2 is an Indian-born novelist, essayist and short story writer. He has lived in India, Canada, England and Scotland, where he lectured in English literature and creative writing at the University of Edinburgh. He now lives in Wellington.

Rajorshi Chakraborti. Image supplied.
Rajorshi Chakraborti. Image supplied.

What are you looking forward to doing in Christchurch?

Meeting visitors to the festival and exploring as much of the city centre on foot as I can in between the fantastic line-up of events at WORD. Oh, and also visiting Christchurch Art Gallery.

What do you think about libraries?

My gratitude for them is boundless. Life would truly be unimaginable without libraries for our family. But also increasingly, I value so much the wider ethos of a society that maintains public libraries as well-funded, free-to-use, open, welcoming spaces.

What would be your desert island book?

An unabridged edition of the Indian epic, The Mahabharata, simply because it is an ocean of stories, containing within it endless human, and divine (!), complexity and variability. It is said of the Mahabharata “What is here is elsewhere. What is not here is nowhere else.”

Share a surprising fact about yourself.

That the house we live in in Wellington is the roof under which I have spent the longest time of any in my life. I have lived in this house, and indeed in NZ, for 8 years now. The previous record was 5 years and 4 months, held by my first childhood home in Calcutta, India. In between, I kept on moving.

Rajorshi Chakraborti‘s sessions at WORD Christchurch Festival 2018

Starry, starry night Friday 31 August 8pm

The Politics of Fiction Saturday 1 September 4pm