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Aussies & Kiwis : Australian & Newzealander writers
Langues sans frontières
Octobre 2010

Rachael King was born in New Zealand in 1970 to a bookish family – her father Michael King (who died in 2004) was one of New Zealand’s most prominent authors, and her mother Ros Henry is a publisher.Rachael completed a Masters in Creative Writing from the acclaimed International Institute of Modern Letters at Wellington’s Victoria University in 2001, after which she began work on “The Sound of Butterflies”, which won the Montana New Zealand Book Award for Best First Novel 2007.

The Sound of butterflies

It is 1903. Thomas Edgar, a passionate collector of butterflies, is offered the chance of a lifetime : to travel to the Amazon as part of a scientific expedition. Hoping to find the mythical butterfly that will make his name, he eagerly accepts the invitation, and embarks on a journey that will take him to a whole new world. On his return, Sophie greets her husband at the railway station, and is appalled by the change in him : he is thin, obviously sick, and apparently so traumatised by what he witnessed while he was away, he has been rendered mute.

Katherine Mansfield was born in Wellington, into a middle-class colonial family. She lived for six years in the rural village of Karori. At the age of nine she had her first story published. Entitled ’Enna Blake’ it appeared in The High School Reporter in Wellington. As a first step to her rebellion against her background, she withdrew to London in 1903 and studied at Queen’s College. Back in New Zealand in 1906, she then took up music, and had affairs with both men and women. Her father denied her the opportunity to become a professional cello player – she was an accomplished violoncellist. Her lifelong friend Ida Baker (L.M., Leslie Moore in her diary and correspondence) persuaded Mansfield’s father to allow Katherine to move back to England, with an allowance of £100 a year. There she devoted herself to writing. Mansfield never visited New Zealand again.

The Garden-party and other stories
Gallimard (Folio bilingue)

"The Garden Party" is considered Katherine Mansfield’s finest piece of short fiction.Structured around an early afternoon garden party in New Zealand, "The Garden Party" has clear connections to Mansfield’s own childhood and adolescence in New Zealand. The main character of the story, Laura, is an idealistic young girl who wishes to cancel the planned afternoon gathering when she learns of the death of a working-class laborer who lives down the hill from her parents’ home. The story concerns Laura’s alternating moments of resistance and conformity to her mother’s idea of class relations.

Also available : "The Aloe", "At the bay and other short stories".

Julie Parsons is the author of five crime novels, all of them psychological dramas. She was born in New Zealand and has lived most of her adult life in Ireland. She has had a varied career – artist’s model, typesetter, freelance journalist, radio and television producer – before turning to writing fiction. She lives outside Dublin, by the sea, with her family.

The Courtship gift

It was Anna who found her husband David’s body in his study late at night. He died of anaphylactic shock, from a bee sting. Anna can’t believe it was an accident. Nor can she believe that he has left her penniless. But she is not alone for long.

The Guilty heart

Whilst Nick spent an afternoon in bed with his neighbour, his son Owen went missing and was never found. Now, ten years later, he has returned from the USA with a desire to assuage his guilt and face up to his past. Little does he realize that his investigations will unleash further violence.

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