May 10, 2022 Metro Arts
I am freshly back from the Brisbane Writers Festival, and I’ve got to say it was weird (but great) to speak to actual audiences. The threat of Covid absolutely loomed in the air, though. A couple of festival guests even succumbed and isolated themselves in their rooms. Hope everyone feels good soon. I did question many times just how responsible of a trip it was really (just intellectually rather than materially, though. I’m a horrible person).
But of course, you do these things to promote your book and as a responsibility to your publisher. All with the hope that you will sell some books. I was stoked that all the copies of Bloody Woman at the festival had sold out during the book signing, with some people missing out. This happened to another local author I spoke to. This just made me wonder — is there an underestimation of how broad the reach of our work in Aotearoa can be (not just concerning the festival but generally). I don’t know much about publishing infrastructure, distribution or international publishing rights, but should we be doing more to get our work overseas? Because I reckon that readers are hungry.
Spotted at Brisbane Writers Festival: Gina Cole’s Na Viro, a science fiction book to be released 31 May. I picked this up in the festival shop and cannot wait to dig into it! Also spotted Victor Rodger’s lovely long locks.
Also, while I’m on the topic of books: it’s Ockhams week with the winners announced tomorrow! So keep an eye out for that. Also keep an eye out for the outfits!
I also just wanted to abuse my company privileges by promoting Flying Fetu, a new venture that I’m running with poet Grace Taylor. We’re running a Writers Lab for emerging Pacific writers where we pay you to attend a day session to develop your writing and showcase it at Basement Theatre. Applications close 16 May. See our Instagram page for more information.
Also: got some arts scoop? Hmu.
Grand: Becoming my Mother’s Daughter by Noelle McCarthy
Often in the memoir genre, people come for insights into the juicy parts of someone’s life. It’s the moorish stuff afterall. Admittedly, there’s something a little sensational about the idea of Noelle McCarthy’s memoir Grand: Becoming my Mother’s Daughter — the alcoholism, the plagiarism, the headlines. However, while alcoholism (her mums and her own) runs throughout the entire book, the infamous plagiarism incident is less than a page. While it can feel slow in parts, the search for scandal eventually gives way to a tender story of mothers and daughters. While focused on McCarthy and her mother, the story reaches her grandmother and her daughter. McCarthy’s hate and resentment for her mother turn to empathy and understanding as further context about her mother’s early life comes into view and as McCarthy becomes a mother herself. McCarthy’s debut memoir is brave, honest, and ultimately satisfying. McCarthy’s resolution of her and her mother’s relationship forces readers to reflect on their own relationship with their mum with more understanding and perhaps more of an open heart.
Buy Grand: Becoming my Mother’s Daughter online and in stores now.
It has been great to see all the photos and press for Yuki Kihara’s exhibition Paradise Camp at the Venice Biennale. I spoke to Yuki last year for our summer issue about the show, which left me hungry to see the actual work. Graciously, the team has enabled that both by hosting extensive imagery and references on the website and creating the show’s ‘virtual explore‘ option. If like me, you’re only travelling to Venice in your dreams, then I totally recommend checking it out!
Also, Jean, food editor AND resident international fiction reader, recommends Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart. Jean says, “Young Mungo is exhausting, but I read it all in a day. Essentially a queer coming-of-age novel set in a tenement in Glasgow, it’s dense, dark and rich, where all its characters are written like it must be based on someone the author knows in real life, even the tiny side ones: everything is so alive. Because of that, you sorta feel like you’re being closed in on all sides. I was into it!”
6 May — 21 May 2022
PAKANGA FOR THE LOSTGIRL
ST PAUL St Gallery
6 May — 25 June
City of Colour
Various locations across Auckland city
6 May — 22 May
Artists on Artists
Studio One Toi Tū
Featuring Naomi Azoulay, Lucie Blaze, Gavin Chai, Abhi Chinniah, Paul Darragh, Mariadelle ‘Abbey’ Gamit, Lindsey Horne, Téhlor-Lina Mareko, Riley Martinez, Stjohn Milgrew, Sara Moana, Logan Moffat and Vicktoria Johnson.
12 May — 21 May
Encore season of Grand Horizons by Bess Wohl
Auckland Theatre Company, Proudly presented by MiNDFOOD
ASB Waterfront Theatre
17 — 29 May 2022
Documentary Edge International Film Festival 2022
Virtual Festival: 1 Jun – 10 Jul
Auckland Festival: 15 – 19 & 24 June at The Capitol Cinema,
15 – 19 June at Silky Otter and 22 – 26 June at The Civic