The skilled and relaxed Chair Finlay Macdonald immediately took us back to 1987 "when stockbrokers ruled the world", and of course the year in which Greg McGee's new novel, Love and Money, is set.
McGee wrote the novel in 2011 a year in which, like 1987, there was an election in New Zealand as well as a Rugby World Cup tournament.
The author treated us to a reading from the book which is essentially the story, the downward trajectory of Mike, a much-partnered out of work actor.
Finlay Macdonald led Greg McGee in an interesting discussion on the difficulties of writing the book, the problems with potential anachronisms such as matrimonial property law, the development of the character of Mike, a failed partner and a failed parent but a man who ultimately redeems himself. The discussion moved on to the Alix Bosco novels and the reasons for them being written pseudonomously, the pros and cons of writing in the first and third persons, inhabiting a female voice and the treeping of Mervyn Thompson.
Through it all McGee proved to be something of a social and political commentator with a great sense of humour.
We went away smiling.