Beattie's Book Blog - unofficial homepage of the New Zealand book community
Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
In False River, writer Paula Morris takes us from the
dark days of Hurricane Katrina to a witch burning in Denmark to very
personal reflections on her remarkable mother. Paula told Lynn Freeman
why some of the works in her latest collection are described as fiction
that are now essays, while others were essays she now calls fiction. Nov 19, 2017
When an older man takes in a struggling artist in New
York City, tongues are bound to wag. But in Sebastian Hampson's novel
The Benefactor Henry Calder's intentions really are kindly rather than
sinister. The magazine editor has been widowed for less than a year and
he's lonely, while at the same time at a crossroads in what's been a
lucrative career. Nov 19, 2017
What is it about the movies and artists? We love
watching people slapping that paint on - whether it's Timothy Spall as
Turner, Colin Firth creating The Girl with a Pearl Earring, or Jack
painting Rose on the Titanic. Clearly it's much more visually engaging
than watching someone writing a book or composing a symphony. Irene
Gardiner was inspired for this week's Screen Gems by a new film about
Vincent Van Gogh - Loving Vincent. Irene's picks include Pollock and
Colin McCahan I Am. Nov 19, 2017
New Zealand film-makers certainly make a lot of genres -
from Middle Earth spectaculars and horror spoofs to the experimental
drama of Waru. But we do tend towards the dark side. It's very rare we
go in for bright, family comedies. Until now... Simon Morris speaks to
Tony Simpson, the writer and director of the unashamed family film Kiwi
Christmas. Nov 19, 2017
Art Ache is for the budding art-lover who wants to
connect with New Zealand art, but isn't quite sure where to start. It's
a twice-yearly exhibition started some five years ago in Auckland, and
is now being rolled out around the country. The intention of director
Aimee Ralfini is to make art affordable. With that purpose she's
invited some established, and opinionated artists like Dick Frizzell
and Johnson Witehira - to sell and chat about their works. Nov 19, 2017
An Ans Westra exhibit at Suite Gallery marks the end of
a 3-year project by the National Library to digitise and preserve her
life's work. Ans is the photographer behind many famous images of life
in New Zealand including the legendary Washday at the Pa series in
1963. There are 150,000 images in total documenting life since Ans
arrived sixty years ago. The driving force behind both the exhibition
and digitization project is her friend and agent David Alsop. Charlotte
Wilson talked to him and Ans' half-sister Yvonne. Link to the National
Library archive here: Nov 19, 2017
We need to talk about fish - or rather English podcast
No Such Thing As A Fish. The researchers of quiz show QI have produced
an online phenomenon, and are bringing it out to New Zealand. Simon
Morris spoke to lead Fishman/Elf Dan Schreiber. Nov 19, 2017
3.00 pm to 5.00 pm: come along with your children for storytime,
workshops with Juliette MacIver (from 3 yrs) & Paul Beavis (from 9 yrs),
do some Christmas shopping - The Children's Bookshop staff will give you
their best advice!
7.30 pm to late: enjoy drinks (homemade Curiously Good Beer), music,
artwork exhibition-sale and good company!
Where: Gecko Press, 9 Holland Street, Level 1, Wellington
Thanks to those of you who have sent an RSVP. For the other ones... you have
still time to do it!
East West Street: A Song of Good and Evil is not to be missed. Inspired by the music and stories that connected three key individuals in the Nuremberg Trials – academic Hersch Lauterpacht, prosecutor Raphael Lemkin and Hitler's lawyer Hans Frank – Philippe Sands’ acclaimed music and literary performance makes its Australian premiere on Saturday 17 February at City Recital Hall.
On our podcast channel, writer Russ Rymer discusses an environmental crisis besetting classical music, and Natalie Haynes uses her unique combination of ancient history and stand-up comedy to reveal how the search for the meaning of life has stood the test of time.
It’s been ten years since David Walliams’ debut The Boy in the Dress took the children’s book world by storm. Since then, the bestselling author, comedian and actor – dubbed ‘Roald Dahl of the 21st Century’– has won legions of adoring young fans around the world, sold more than 20 million books and had his stories translated into 53 languages. The author of the much-loved children's classics Ratburger, Awful Auntie, Billionaire Boy, Demon Dentist, Gangsta Granny and The World’s Worst Children has truly become a global phenomenon.
Walliams' next classic-in-the-making, Bad Dad, is a fast and furious, heart-warming story that will have readers on the edge of their seats, roaring with laughter and holding back the tears.
year New Zealand’s largest writer-residency organisation will host its
largest-ever number of residencies, offering opportunities to 15 emerging and
established writers – historians, memoirists, essay writers, fiction writers,
poets and dramatists.
writers include Courtney Sina Meredith (Early Summer), Fiona Samuel (Winter)
Jacquie McRae (Māori residency), Tracy Farr (Spring) and Mark Broatch (Late
six-month University of Auckland Residency at the MKWC has been awarded to
acclaimed playwright Victor Roger who will work on a novel and a collection of
short fiction. ‘Having written an essay last
year for the Academy of New Zealand Literature about the state of Pasifika
fiction,’ Victor says, ‘it’s very clear that New Zealand is lacking Pasifika
novelists. One of the huge drivers for me to finish this work is the desire to
add another voice to the canon.’
The newly established Pasifika residency will
be held jointly by historian Trevor Bentley and poet Serie Barford who will
each spend two weeks at the centre in Devonport.
first recipient of a Pasifika residency for emerging writers is ‘radical
accountant’ Pala Malisa, son of former Vanua’aku Pati cabinet minister Sela Molisa and civil servant and the
writer Grace Molisa.
The first recipients of Māori residencies for
emerging writers are fiction writers Helen Waaka and Kelly Joseph, and essayist
emerging writers awarded residencies are Alan Drew, Lawrence Patchett, and
winter Fiona Samuel will take up a four week residency to work on a novella –
an imaginary memoir based on a significant event in the life of her grandmother
and her great aunt.
McRae will take up the Māori Writer’s
Residency to work on a new work of fiction based on facts about the colourful
history of the temperance movement in New Zealand and the resulting illicit
trade of home brewed whiskey.
Tracy Farr been
awarded the four-week Spring Residency to work on her latest project; her third
novel – the story of three sisters, identical triplets born in an amusement
park in the first decade of the twentieth century. The novel explores the
sisters’ ability to describe the world and make it into sense, and to live
lives filled with wonder. It is a novel that is deeply interested in voice and
in identity – how they form, how they develop and change.
the late spring, Mark Broatch will spend two weeks working on completing the
final draft of a contemporary novel that has at its centre an exploration of
modern relationships and male friendship.
The Early Summer Residency has been awarded
to Courtney Sina Meredith. Courtney will hold a four-week residency. Her project is a work of creative non-fiction. Courtney says ‘this will be a
book of creative non-fiction that plaits together stories of young creatives in
Aotearoa with an emphasis on Pasifika, Maori and Queer voices. This book is
inspired by the ‘real life’ stories I have been privileged enough to hear,
receive and observe – as a writer, educator, arts administrator, and more
recently as a feature writer and contributing editor’.
of the residencies are available thanks to support from Creative New Zealand.
Michael King Writers’ Centre thanks all applicants and wishes all our residency
recipients the best of luck with their work.
Author Signing | Daniel Falconer, Weta Workshop designer & author of Middle Earth: From Script to Screen | Saturday 2nd December, 1pm | In-store at Unity Books Wellington
Unity Books is delighted to be hosting an author signing with
Weta Workshop designer and author of Middle Earth: From Script to Screen
Saturday 2nd December, 1pm Unity Books Wellington, 57 Willis St.
For the first time ever, the epic, in-depth story of the creation of one of the most famous fantasy worlds ever imagined, a richly illustrated compendium that reveals the breathtaking craftsmanship, artistry, and technology behind the magical Middle-earth of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Motion Picture Trilogies, directed by Peter Jackson.
Middle-Earth: From Script to Screen tells the complete story of how J. R. R. Tolkien s magic world was brought to vivid life on the big screen in the record-breaking film trilogies The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy and The Hobbit Motion Picture Trilogy. Drawing on resources, stories, and content from the archives of the companies and individuals behind the films, much of which have never appeared in print before, as well as interviews with director Peter Jackson and key members of the Art Department, Shooting Crews, Park Road Post, and Weta Digital teams who share their personal insights on the creative process, this astonishing resource reveals: how the worlds were built, brick by brick and pixel by pixel, how environments were extended digitally or imagined entirely as computer generated spaces, how the multiple shooting units functioned, how cast members and characters interacted with their environments.
Daniel Falconer takes fans from storyboard concepts to deep into the post-production process where the films were edited, graded, and scored, explaining in depth how each enhanced the films. He also discusses how the processes involved in establishing Middle-earth for the screen have evolved over the fifteen years between the start and finish of the trilogies. Going region by region and culture by culture in this fantasy realm, Middle-Earth: From Script to Screen describes how each area created for the films was defined, what made it unique, and what role it played in the stories.
Illustrated with final film imagery, behind-the-scenes pictures and conceptual artwork, including places not seen in the final films, this monumental compilation offers unique and far-reaching insights into the creation of the world we know and love as Middle-earth. Daniel Falconer has been a designer at Weta Workshop for more than a decade, producing conceptual art as part of the design team on many of the company’s high profile projects. Daniel wrote and collated Weta’s first two books, The World of Kong and The Crafting of Narnia, art books showcasing the illustrative work of the entire design department on King Kong and The Chronicles of Narnia movies. He lives in Wellington with his wife Catherine and two daughters.
French Culture Minister and former publisher Françoise Nyssen
has said that a national debate on reading will be held in France next
March, and that she plans to turn libraries into cultural public service
Helen Wang, a London-based literary translator and British
Museum curator has been recognised on the international stage for her
“special contribution” to children’s literature at the 2017 Chen Bochui
International Children's Literature Awards in Shanghai.