… when I scrolled down this post (I had been thinking about those beautiful hanging baskets… and wishing I could go to New York, in part because I’d heard from an old friend who lives there this week, and had been reading Sarah Laing’s brilliant comic about leaving the city to return to NZ [she writes about other things too]). A visit is not on the cards but it makes me happy to see my book there.
… was totally fun. It was a while ago now, but I wrote some notes about being there:
“In a departure lounge, newspapers take on a special pre-internet significance, as though this is the last word of home you’re going to get for a long while. I’m only heading off for a few days at the Sydney Writers Festival, but it’s enough to make me read theHerald, which announces record numbers of Kiwis emigrating to Australia. (I’m not sure this can be described as news any more.) On the next page is a piece on Paul Henry distinguishing himself in Sydney by making nasty remarks about immigrants. Last time I was at an Australian literary festival an eye-wateringly posh Englishman took the piss out of my New Zealand accent during our event. The audience heaved with laughter. There might be psychological scars.”
You can read the whole piece, including more about the psychology of writers’ festivals, on the NZ Book Council blog.
My new book The Forrests has launched at Sunday Painters, with a really nice speech from Bloomsbury’s Kathleen Farrar (thanks Kathleen!), no book reading (quiet air punch), and lots of lovely people. There are some photos here (by Abba Renshaw of Allen & Unwin), posted on Beattie’s Book Blog. I’m still recovering but through my haze am very happy the book is out in the world. Thanks to everyone who came along and made it such a fun night.
I discovered on the night that Forrests winery (no relation to the characters), who kindly provided the wine, used to make wine from grapes my dad grew when he was living in Canterbury. It was a great surprise and almost like having him there.
And a late addition to the launch week – the lovely booksellers at Page & Blackmore in Nelson made this gorgeous window display for the book. Happy sigh.