Monday, May 16, 2011
AWRF 2011 - AN HOUR WITH DAVID VANN and AN HOUR WITH TEA OBRECHT
Two most interesting and highly admired American fiction voices followed each other in the Sunday afternoon sessions in the main auditorium at the Aotea Centre.
He talked openly about writing from his family history, a history dotted with suicides and murders, and how he has fictionalised these stories, he taled of his writing habits, his reading and re-reading and his attentiion to line by line editing.
He was articulate and intellectual but not a good reader of his own work, he read far too fast.
His book Caribou Island I admire as a piece of writing but I can't say I enjoyed it, it was just too sad and unremittingly bleak, it left me unhappily stunned.
This young writer, 26 years of age, has caused a sensation in literary circles with her first novel, The Tiger's Wife.
Paula Morris discussed her personal and public lives with her. Her ethnicity is half Bosnian, quarter Serbian and quarter Slovakian. She was born in Bosnia but educated in British schools in Cyprus and Egypt before moving to the US at the age of twelve where she has lived ever since. She went to University in Ithaca in upstate New York which she says "has two universities and snows a lot".
This is her first international literary event and her first visit to this part of the world. She read from her book but like the previous speaker she too is not a good reader of her own writing. It was too fast, there was no light and shade, and it was also too loud although this was the fault of the sound technicians rather than the author.
That aside it was a most interesting hour with a young writer about whom we are going to hear a lot more.
Author pic - Alexi Zentner