Saturday, September 21, 2013
'The Lie That Settles' launched in style at Unity Books
Report from Maggie Rainey-Smith:
On Thursday night Peter Farrell's memoir 'The Lie That Settles', was given a terrific send off into the world at Wellington's literary birthing unit, the beating heart of book launches, Unity Bookshop. How grateful are we all to have Unity in our city.
It was a very special evening with the shop over-flowing with friends and supporters. I've been too many book launches but I don't know that I've ever seen such a big crowd. This is a self-published memoir and even before Dame Fiona Kidman could officially launch the book, Unity had sold out. Modest author Peter went to his car, where he had optimistically left ten extra books - just in case - he could have done with 50 extra!
Linda Niccol, author, screenwriter, and a Director of Mission Hall Creative spoke first about the work they had done on the overall design of the book. They wanted the cover to speak to the audience and capture the essence of the story being told.
"Upon reading the book I discovered there was an air of the unknown and mystery surrounding Peter’s life. The image of Peter on his bike, in a park or driveway, is a lovely image of a young boy on his way, setting off on his life journey, which I feel captures the book perfectly.” Rebecca Horrocks, Designer, Mission Hall.
Dame Fiona Kidman (right with author) was one of the first mentors that Peter had when he started creative writing and they've stayed in touch over the years, so it was very special that she was able to launch his memoir. She is one of our much-loved literary icons and what we don't always see in the writing world is just how much Dame Fiona puts back into the writing community, supporting other writers. Thursday evening was a lovely celebration of literary friendships.
In her opening remarks, she said this (quoted here with kind permission from Fiona):
"If I say that it gives me enormous pleasure to launch Peter Farrell’s book, it may sound like one of those grand clichés of opening nights, and yet it is so true of this book, one that means a lot to me in personal terms. I met Peter some 15 or 16 years ago when he had first confronted his past and was setting out on the journey of memoir. He came to one of the writing groups I ran then, a brave and humble gesture for a man of so many talents. He had a story to tell and he needed to find a way to express it, even though the journey had, in a sense, only begun. We became firm friends from the beginning, and any suggestion that I ‘taught’ Peter is misleading – in the beginning we worked side by side as he began expressing himself through the written word, and then, when he moved on to other more formal writing seminars, we simply kept in touch, and formed a regular lunch a lot group with some of the people who attended those early sessions.
In this sense, I’ve been able to keep track of the book as it’s evolved over the years. Memoir is no flash in the pan, memory casts a wide net, and the further it is flung the more there is to catch and process. One thing inevitably leads to another, and the fact that this book has taken some 15 years in the making is no surprise. I’ve always said that there is no such thing as an ordinary life, but it has to be said that Peter has had a particularly rich and extraordinary life, albeit one that began with a lie - and lies once told are hard to unpick. His story, in The Lie That Settles, is really a quest, a quest for truth about identity, the kind of story that is as old as time itself, here with a modern twist."
Peter had a date with Radio New Zealand's Kathryn Ryan the following morning, but had to wait and see if we won the Americas Cup, because if we had, he would have been replaced with live coverage... it was hard to know just what to wish for... but Peter kept his date, and you can listen to this, if you missed it here http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2569994/peter-farrell-author-and-former-director-of-te-papa