Out this month from Victoria University Press:
Floating Worlds: Essays on Contemporary NZ Fiction
Anna Jackson & Jane Stafford (eds)
The ground-breaking New Zealand fiction of the last fifteen years has not attracted critical commentary beyond initial reviews, despite its success with readers both local and international, and despite its attracting major awards both local and international. Floating Worlds contains stimulating and insightful essays on eight of the best novels of recent years.
These are novels in which there is no longer one authoritative way to tell a story. In contrast to Allen Curnow’s stricture that New Zealand writers should conform to ‘the disciplines of an uncompromising fidelity to experience, of an unqualified responsibility to the truths of themselves, in this place and that time’, these novels invite us into what Paula Morris calls ‘a floating world’, where identities are negotiable and performative.
Floating Worlds illuminates the distinctive ways in which contemporary New Zealand writing approaches the relationship between the real and the imaginary, and the different kinds of challenging, edgy authenticities that operate in the space between them: the familiar and the foreign; the copy and the original; the fake and the genuine; the intention and the act, including the act of writing.
Nicholas Wright on The Miserables by Damien Wilkins
Kirstine Moffat on In a Fishbone Church by Catherine Chidgey
Jane Stafford on The Vintner’s Luck by Elizabeth Knox
Hamish Clayton & Mark Williams on Hicksville by Dylan Horrocks
Lydia Wevers on Slow Water by Annamarie Jagose
Anna Jackson on The Time of the Giants by Anne Kennedy
Erin Mercer on Hibiscus Coast by Paula Morris
Jennifer Lawn on Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones