Quick Questions with Nicky Pellegrino – 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).

Nicky Pellegrino is the author of 10 best-selling novels. She juggles writing fiction with a career as a journalist, regularly contributing to magazines including the Listener and the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly.

Nicky Pellegrino. Image supplied.
Nicky Pellegrino. Image supplied.

What are you looking forward to doing in Christchurch?

I’m hoping I’ll find time for a walk in the Botanic Gardens. And to eat a lot of delicious things.

What do you think about libraries?

They were my lifeline when I was a kid and my best friends were books.

What would be your desert island book?

To The Bright Edge Of The World by Eowyn Ivey because it would remind me how it felt to be cold.

To the Bright Edge of the World

Share a surprising fact about yourself.

I can touch my nose with my tongue.

Nicky Pellegrino’s sessions at WORD Christchurch Festival 2018:

High tea and Tales Thursday 30 August 2pm

Nicky Pellegrino: 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:

Nicky-Pellegrino-newNicky Pellegrino – journalist and novelist

What (or who) are you most looking forward to at WORD Christchurch?

I’m really excited about both the events I’m involved in. I’ve been a huge fan of food writer Ruth Reichl for years, have read all her memoirs and enjoyed her debut novel so to be appearing at a morning tea with her is a huge thrill. And Diane Setterfield‘s book The Thirteenth Tale is one of my all-time favourites so I’m looking forward to chairing a session with her. My only concern is that I may be a little starstruck by them both!

What do you think about libraries?

If I’m honest I’d like people to buy their very own copy of my books – make that several copies! After all it’s how I make a living. But for many that’s not possible. Certainly when I was a kid my parents couldn’t afford many books and our weekly trip to the local library to stock up on new reading was an essential part of life. So I think libraries are wondrous places filed with possibilities and surprises and adventures and learning and stories, lots and lots of stories.

Share a surprising fact about yourself.

When I was at primary school my parents were told my reading skills were way below average … fortunately I caught up!

Cover of The Food of love cookery school Cover of When in Rome The-Villa-Girls

Stocking up on sugar and good fortune

Cover image of "Recipe for life"In the days following February’s earthquake, I found myself hankering after chocolate, sugar-coated biscuits, syrupy tea. Now I find myself craving something different: sweet reads.

Taking refuge in Dunedin as my house in Christchurch awaits demolition, I recently headed to Dunedin Public Library to take advantage of their reciprocal borrowing arrangement for earthquake evacuees. As I browsed the A – Z fiction shelves for an attractive-looking spine, I came across Recipe for Life. I turned the book over to read the blurb and shook my head, amused. Serendipitously, I had a picked up a novel about someone struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered life after surviving a horrific event.

I devoured this book in two days. Nicky Pellegrino transported me to Italy; full of delicious flavours, comforting smells, vibrant colours and life – both bitter and sweet. It was exactly what I needed; a book that made me smile in delight and nod in empathy.

This has got me wondering – do we always choose our books or do books sometimes choose us? Are we drawn to particular titles because they whisper to our subconscious on some level or do we only find meaning in the pages because we want to?

What books have you read that mirrored your own life in some unexpected way?

Want an appetising read? Tell us what kind of books you enjoy, and we’ll give you some suggestions.