Jenny Bornholdt and Gregory O’Brien

The Colour of Distance: New Zealand Writers in France—French writers in New Zealand

ISBN: 9780864735058

Since Katherine Mansfield wrote some of her greatest stories on the Riviera, France has occupied a place in the imagination of New Zealand writers and readers. This anthology includes memoirs, stories and poems written in France by some of New Zealand’s greatest writers—among them Janet Frame, Allen Curnow, James K. Baxter and Michael King. During the same period, French writers have, in turn, visited New Zealand and their imaginative engagement with this place is also represented. Not only has the experience of New Zealanders living in France enriched this country’s literature; French writers are having a comparable experience of New Zealand. The Colour of Distance samples the traffic in both directions. Herein lies the proof that traveling 18,000 kilometres can make you see more vividly both the place of origin and the adopted home.

Contributors: Fleur Adcock, Peter Bland, Jenny Bornholdt, Charles Brasch, Nigel Cox, Allen Curnow, Geoff Cush, Blaise Cendrars, Catherine Chidgey, Stephanie de Montalk, Lauris Edmond, Riemke Ensing, Janet Frame, Pierre Furlan, Michael Gifkins, Michael Harlow, Dinah Hawken, Dylan Horrocks, Witi Ihimaera , Michael Jackson, Louis Johnson, Stephanie Johnson, Andrew Johnston, Lloyd Jones, M. K. Joseph, Charles Juliet, Michael King, Alan Knowles, Elizabeth Knox, Denis Lalanne, Mary Macpherson, Bill Manhire, Katherine Mansfield, Cilla McQueen, Vincent O’Sullivan, Frederick Page, Nadine Ribault, Elizabeth Smither, C. K. Stead, Ian Wedde, Damien Wilkins

Plus eight duotone photographs each by Bill Culbert, Peter Black and Alan Knowles.

The Colour of Distance: New Zealand writers in France—French writers in New Zealand is published to celebrate sixty years of diplomatic relations between France and New Zealand, 1945-2005.

Praise for The Colour of Distance

In all, this is a collection that achieves what great anthologies can: to open up a world to a reader, or to open windows onto new worlds and visions, to tease and to titillate. Bornholt and O'Brien have been thorough and dedicated. Their own devotion to the subject shines through. These are snapshots, but even snapshots (as the artist now knows – think Gerhard Richter) can make up something with a cohesive inviting power of its own. Snap one up before they sell out and you won't have one.
Louise Wareham LEAFSALON Visit LeafSalon for the complete review

Book of the Week
Much here is a sheer pleasure to read... [a] knockout extract? Too many to nominate one only...


Named as one of New Zealand's Best Books 2005
This glossy and good-looking anthology assembles photographs, poems, prose and illustrations celebrating the Franco-New Zealand literary relationship of the past 65 years. Many contributions are by New Zealand writers on the Katherine Mansfield fellowship in Menton. Others include wanderer James K Baxter, soldier M K Joseph and French writers recently resident in Wellington's Randell Cottage. Bornholt and O'Brien let their devotion to the subject shine, delivering the serious and the comic with a stylistic reverence. With a spectacular late interview with Janet Frame, a French rendition of the Dylan Horrocks comic Hicksville, and odes to the great Riviera, it's for anyone who dreams of Europe.

A mammoth task of not only selecting but also sequencing the wide variety of works in different genres was brilliantly accomplished by the editors.
Isa Moynihan TAKAHE

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