Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Talking Kiwi crime fiction (audio of festival session)

Back in early 2012 I had the privilege of chairing a great session on New Zealand crime writing at the New Zealand International Arts Festival. Sitting onstage with three terrific contemporary writers who have all taken the genre in our country to new heights and added new things, in different ways, was a great experience. You can read my thoughts at the time about the entire weekend here.

Paul Thomas is the 'godfather of New Zealand crime writing' thanks to his Ihaka books in the 1990s, and had at the time of our hourlong session at the Arts Festival recently returned to penning pages of murder and mayhem with DEATH ON DEMAND, which would go on to win the Ngaio Marsh Award. Vanda Symon is the Queen of contemporary Kiwi crime fiction, a three times Ngaio Marsh Award finalist, and very knowledgeable about literature in general (hosting a radio show and studying for a PhD). Paul Cleave is arguably New Zealand's most successful novelist of the past decade, in global terms, having topped bestseller lists in Europe and racking up award wins and nominations in NZ, France, and the USA.

We had an absolutely wonderful session before a great crowd. You can listen to the full session, thanks to Radio New Zealand, here:

Here's the official blurb about the New Zealand crime writing sessions, from the Arts Festival brochure:

Three of New Zealand’s best crime writers discussed bringing one of the world’s most popular forms of storytelling into a distinctly New Zealand setting.

Paul Cleave’s Christchurch-set thrillers are critically acclaimed worldwide. His debut, The Cleaner, is one of the biggest selling novels to come out of New Zealand. Paul Thomas dragged local murder mysteries into modernity with popular thrillers in the late 1990s and early 2000s. After a decade-long hiatus, Thomas returns with Death on Demand. Called ‘New Zealand’s contemporary Queen of Crime’ by the New Zealand Listener, Vanda Symon is the creator of the bestselling Sam Shephard novels, set in Otago and Southland; the latest in the series is Bound. Craig Sisterson chaired this session.


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