Thursday, October 2, 2014

A grisly lunch: talking Kiwi crime in Germany

Four of New Zealand's greatest modern crime writers talk to German thriller writer Wulf Dorn about crime writing, in association with the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2012.

The entire hour-long session can be watched online. It's great to see such panels happening in New Zealand and elsewhere. Two Ngaio Marsh Award winners (Alix Bosco/Greg McGee and Paul Cleave), a Ngaio Marsh Award finalist (Paddy Richardson), and a terrific noir writer we hope may be in the running in future years, if he returns to penning the type of noir tales he was so damned great at in the 2000s - Chad Taylor.

It's quite amusing to listen to Wulf make some magnificent efforts at pronouncing New Zealand place names, amongst some interesting points that are brought up about writing crime set in a beautiful country with wonderful landscapes, women crime writers in New Zealand, finding a New Zealand voice within crime writing, the growth of a group of New Zealand crime writers within the literary community, how crime novels can show another side to a location, etc. "One of the things about working in a genre," says Taylor at one point, "is that it frees you up to be yourself. You can express things that are more internal, in a way that is entertaining to other people." Richardson also points out that tales of murder and death can be about much more than mystery (whodunnit) - "it can be a catalyst for huge change for the people involved".

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