April 2011 archive

The Captive Wife — excerpt

‘The pa at Te Namu was very small but also secure. It sat on a plateau, like the top of a very high table, on a rocky outcrop of the coast, almost surrounded by vertical cliffs. Around this, runs hollowed out land, some sixty yards wide, separating it from the mainland. Like a moat? Yes …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://fionakidman.com/the-captive-wife-excerpt/

Songs from the Violet Café — excerpt

‘A woman sat behind a low reception desk, her head bent over a large reservations book. She was an older woman, dressed in an impeccably tailored navy-blue linen dress that might have looked mannish had it not been for the drawn threadwork across her breast. There were no rings on her fingers but she wore …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://fionakidman.com/songs-from-the-violet-cafe-excerpt/

Paddy’s Puzzle

Paddy’s Puzzle Novel Vintage 1983 Synopsis Clare Bentley grows up in Hamilton during the Depression, mainly cared for by her older sister Winnie. Winnie is conservative and in Clara’s eyes dull. When life goes wrong for Clara, she goes to Auckland to look for work, and finds it in a chocolate factory. The chocolates represent …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://fionakidman.com/paddys-puzzle/

Paddy’s Puzzle — Excerpt

‘Ambrose Johnson. She doesn’t know a great deal about him. He says there is nothing much to tell, that he has told her all there is to know. In a way this is probably true. She knows his mother’s and father’s names, Rose and Jacob, and the numbers of brothers and sisters he has, in …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://fionakidman.com/paddys-puzzle-excerpt/

At the end of Darwin Road — excerpt

‘Later, I had a friend who I used to meet in the weekends and she was a secret. Topsy Witihera was a girl with a wide concealing smile and a thick lustrous plait that hung  below her waist.  She was being brought up by her grandmother, and felt different, as I did, only more so. …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://fionakidman.com/at-the-end-of-darwin-road-excerpt/

Beside the Dark Pool — excerpt

‘A few months after my first meeting with Ustinov in Phnom Penh, he talked to David Marr about possible interview subjects in Australia and New Zealand for a documentary series he was about to start work on. Called ‘Following the Equator with Sir Peter Ustinov’, it would retrace Mark Twain’s epic journey one hundred years …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://fionakidman.com/beside-the-dark-pool-excerpt/

The Book of Secrets — excerpt

With the spade she turned the hard earth. The paddocks were misty and cool but they held the fragrance of approaching spring. The curious wax-eyes perched a careful distance away from her. Maria scraped the last loose over the grave, turned the spade over, and tamped the soil firm with the flat side. ‘Maria McClure.’ …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://fionakidman.com/the-book-of-secrets-excerpt/

The Trouble with Fire

TWF Review - Bruce Harding

The Trouble with Fire Fiction, Vintage 2011 Synopsis: Eleven long stories make up this collection, linked by the theme of fire. Fire is a dangerous lurking event, which is also beautiful and alluring in its physical manifestation. Like memory, one is never sure when it will catch up with you. In several of these stories, …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://fionakidman.com/the-trouble-with-fire/

The Tower at the Bottom of the Garden

At first glance, the letter looked like another promotion from Vodafone. I carried it up the steps that lead to our back door. For the past forty years we have lived in an old Wellington bungalow that stands on a cliff top and looks out to sea. We planted the kowhai trees when we came here and now they are huge. This is where I’ve lived my life as a mother and a writer. But something was about to change.

The letter informed us that a ten-metre cellphone tower would shortly be erected by Vodafone on the roadside verge beneath the cliff. A company representative would later describe it as ‘the perfect site.’

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://fionakidman.com/the-tower-at-the-bottom-of-the-garden/

Best New Zealand Fiction 1

The Best New Zeland Fiction: 1 Short Stories (ed) Vintage 2004 Synopsis: The Best New Zeland Fiction: 1 is a collection of new writing by a blend of established and new writers.It is planned as an annual anthology which will demonstrate the very best in recent new writing. They have been selected by Fiona Kidman, …

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://fionakidman.com/best-new-zealand-fiction-1/