Sunday, August 14, 2011

Alix Bosco's' identity revealed in today's Sunday Star-Times

A two-year mystery has finally been solved, with acclaimed playwright, TV screenwriter, and former Junior All Black Greg McGee 'coming out' as Alix Bosco in a large feature in today's Sunday Star-Times.

There has been plenty of speculation as to the identity of Alix Bosco over the past couple of years, with a wide and diverse range of names being put forward. Personally, I had no idea until I met 'Alix' a few days ago in Ponsonby (see photo to the right), in the lead-up to today's 'big reveal'. As McGee was one of the names that had been suggested (and in particular, was continuously put forward by an anonymous comment-maker on this blog), I wasn't entirely surprised when he walked into Soto in Ponsonby to meet me and his agent Michael Gifkinds for lunch. As for my own theories, it turns out I was right about some things (that the writer had been involved in TV writing - given the visual nature of the books and some other touches here and there), but wrong about key other things (ie, gender - I thought it was a female writer, so my guesses were along the lines of Outrageous Fortune, The Almighty Johnsons and Nothing Trivial scribe Rachel Lang).

For those in New Zealand, I suggest you grab a copy of today's Sunday Star-Times to read the very good large feature by Kim Knight about McGee coming out as Bosco (as an aside, it's great to see local crime fiction on the cover page of the Culture section, and mentioned on the front page of the entire newspaper too). McGee shares his reasons for the pseudonym, why he is coming out now, his thoughts about the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel, and much more. For those overseas, you can read most of the Sunday Star-Times coverage online here.

It's a good Sunday all-around for Kiwi crime fiction, with an article by Nicky Pellegrino on the upcoming Ngaio Marsh Award and the four finalist books, in the Herald on Sunday (the Living supplement). Hopefully I will be able to share that article online in the next couple of days. For those in New Zealand, grab both Sunday papers, and enjoy a bit of local crime fiction-related reading this weekend.

Are you surprised that Alix Bosco is a male writer? Have you read CUT & RUN or SLAUGHTER FALLS? What do you think of Bosco's crime writing? Of the reasons for the pseudonym, and coming out now? Comments welcome.


  1. Craig - Thanks for breaking this news!

  2. It does raise the question of whether when a male writer chooses what appears to be a female nom de plume he is actually practicing some sort of deception on his readers.
    If this writer were Australian, "she" presumably would need to declare her true gender in order not to be considered for a Davitt Award which is for female crime writers.
    It will be interesting to see whether there will be cries of outrage from Bosco readers

  3. It does raise the question of whether when a male writer chooses what appears to be a female nom de plume he is actually practicing some sort of deception on his readers.

    Honestly, if McGee is guilty of "deception" then so is Sean French, who co-authors thrillers with his wife Nicci Gerrard under the transparent pseudonym Nicci French. And it's not as if genre fiction isn't light on traffic the other way - women who 'dragged up' by publishing under initials when it wasn't exactly respectable for women to be writing, say, pulp fiction.

  4. I'm with Kerrie and Craig. I'd like to propose an extension to the Fair Trading Practices Act (if there is one) to require authors to declare their gender, their sexual proclivities (we can’t have heteros writing covertly about gays, or vice versa) and their religious beliefs (so that if God is mentioned, the reader can know whether it’s blasphemous or ironic). And any re-print of Middlemarch has to be written by Mary Anne Evans. While we're at it, we could also look at the definition of 'fiction'. There must be a way we could take the deception out of it...

  5. I get the impression it would have been better not to have come out.

  6. Pshaw, Greg, you're totally on the front bench of New Zealand literature - Kathleen Beauchamp (and her cousin Mary), Norris Davey and Owen Jones! FTW!

  7. McGee has certainly got intoucvh with his feminine side; I was convinced the writer was a woman.

    With regard to the nom de plume, I don't care if Bosco is a tranvestite two-toed sloth. He/she/it can write, and that's all that interests me.

  8. I agree with Bernard - I was convinced the writer was a woman, but frankly, I don't care who the writer is - they can write.

    Having said that, I do think Greg will be an asset to the NZ crime fiction community, now that he's been revealed as 'Alix Bosco' - in terms of festivals/author panels/events etc.