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July 22 , 2007

The Random Reader

New Zealand Short Stories Volume One


From fifteen of New Zealand's finest short-fiction practitioners come stories to delight, amuse and move. These stories have been gathered from a range of titles, published in recent years by Vintage New Zealand and commended by readers and reviewers alike.Owen Marshall is regularly described as New Zealand's finest living short-story writer and his subtle story included here is testament to his skill. Peter Hawes presents a wickedly funny story alongside an amusing and intriguing tale from Craig Cliff's Commonwealth Prize winning collection A Man Melting. There are two very different stories playing with the genre of crime writing, from Julian Novitz and Fiona Farrell, about whom one reviewer wrote: 'she has the rare ability of turning the mundane events of domestic life into profound human experiences'. The stories range from New Zealand settings, such as Shonagh Koea's 'Rain', to stories set in America, Australia, Russia, Morocco and the Galapagos Islands, among other places. Montana Award winner Charlotte Grimshaw is represented by a vivid story of a childhood experience in France, her short story collections having been twice placed in the prestigious Frank O'Connor shortlist. Among the many other prize-winning authors, Fiona Kidman has also had a collection, The Trouble with Fire, shortlisted for this award, and the story included here is from that fine book. Sue Orr's story 'Recreation' comes from From Under the Overcoat, which won the 2012 People's Choice Award at the NZ Post Book Awards. While Sue Orr's story is a contemporary riff on a Maori myth, there are several stories touching on the war, of recent travel, of colonial appropriation, of love and friendship. Other stories are by Witi Ihimaera, Stephanie Johnson, Sarah Laing, Carl Nixon, Sarah Quigley and Peter Wells. A fabulous smorgasbord to satisfy every taste.
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