Some of the books I bought at Unity’s on-site bookshop at the Embassy theatre.
GHOST TOWN – Tales of New York Then & Now
Patrick McGrath Bloomsbury $26
I bought this appealing small format hardback following McGrath’s Writing 9/11 Panel discussion with Chair Paul Diamond. McGrath read a sizeable chunk of the third of the three stories, the one about 9/11. The two earlier stories are set in the 19th century and all three are set in New York. Incidentally McGrath, and Englishman, has lived for the past 20 years in that city.
I am intrigued by the fact that Bloomsbury have published this title in their very fine Writer & the City series as all the previous five titles are non-fiction accounts of cities by writers famous for their fiction.eg, The Flaneur;A Stroll through the Paradoxes of Paris by Edmund White; 30Days in Sydney by Peter Carey; Florence:A Delicate Case by David Leavitt.
I own these three also and I must say that the McGrath in the same format looks very fine alongside them.
THE LAST NIGHT I SPENT WITH YOU
Both the Ecco Press (Harper Collins) and $26 & $27 respectively.
I don’t know anything about these yet but I was quite fascinated by the stage performances of Cuban born, Puerto Rico based author, Mayra Montero who had a translator with her whenever she appeared but largely managed without her.
Paul Muldoon Faber $30
Super collection published in 2006 but I wish it was a CD so I could hear that wonderful Irish lilt of Muldoon’s still clear even though he crossed the Atlantic to the US 21 years ago. It also includes the long poem he entertained us with in Wellington, “At Least They Weren’t Speaking French”
Tony B. Anderson Random House NZ $25
Anderson has had many & varied jobs in his life but was working in a call centre when he got the idea for this very appropriately named book.
During my life I have come across many alphabet books but this one is something really special, like nothing elkse I have ever seen, it even has an index. Very special. Both written & illustrated by Tony Anderson, I doubt he will be working in a call centre for much longer.
I suggest to Random House that they might consider bringing it out for Christmas in hardback. A stunner.
WHEN FAMOUS PEOPLE COME TO TOWN
Damien Wilkins Four Winds Press $10
Somehow I missed this one in the charming Montana Essay series but am very glad to have it now.
This was the title of Wilkins session where he was in conversation with Emily Perkins.
THE INVENTION OF CURRIED SAUASAGE
Uwe Timm New Directions Publishing $22
One of the great things about book festivals is that you occasionally come across authors of whom you know nothing and for me this German author fitted into that category.
This is a charming and quirky small format book that I found enchanting from the opening sentence.Here is what Kirkus Review had to say about it:
A small, perfect feast, full of life, heart, spirit, and laughter, all seasoned delicately with sorrow and hope.