Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Thursday, April 30, 2015
Paula Morris releases candid memoir on moving home
Award-winning author Paula Morris addresses how it feels to move back to New Zealand after decades living overseas, in a new book published by Bridget Williams Books.
Having spent most of her adult life in the United Kingdom and the United States, Morris has recently taken up a post teaching creative writing at the University of Auckland, where she completed her undergraduate degree.
In On Coming Homeshe interrogates her fears about giving up an expatriate’s life, writing from the heart about what it means to assume the mantle of ‘New Zealand writer’, and considering questions of nationality, displacement and artistic inspiration.
‘I used to be afraid that I would never come home,’ says Morris. ‘But at the same time I’ve never wanted to come home to live because that implied an end to things: growth, movement, ambition, possibility. And I was scared of coming home to Auckland to find that I no longer belonged here.’
In her book, published as part of the BWB Texts series, Morris embraces these fears that have resonance for so many New Zealanders, drawing on her personal experience and those of other writers who have left their native country to live overseas. On Coming Home is an incisive and engaging commentary on what it means to call a place home.
The Text also discusses the creative beginnings of Morris’s short story ‘False River’, which was recently one of only six stories to be shortlisted for the prestigious Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award.