Wednesday, October 09, 2013
The Infinite Air
- A novel about the enigmatic Jean Batten
by FIONA KIDMAN
Publication: 4 October
Random House NZ
Aviator extraordinaire and international icon, Jean Batten was as elusive as she was glamorous. One of the world’s most courageous and daring aviators, she broke “men’s records” and became a legend. But who was Jean Batten and why did she die in obscurity in Majorca; lost to the world and buried in a pauper’s grave until a film crew came looking for her, some five years after her death?
The Infinite Air is an intriguing and evocative novel that delves into the life of one of New Zealand’s foremost heroines, uncovering long-held secrets and mysteries which Fiona Kidman only discovered during the reading and research she undertook in order to write the novel. Her meticulous approach rewards the reader with character insights and intrigues that would otherwise never have been brought to the page.
The Infinite Air is an arresting novel by one of our best-loved writers. Kidman’s rich and textured palette readily evokes all the high-octane glamour, energy and dangers of early aviation, and the capriciousness of family, friends and lovers.
Significantly, her novel captures the spirit of Jean Batten as she has never been seen before.
About the author:
Fiona Kidman (right- Robert Cross) has published over 25 books, including novels, poetry, non-fiction and a play. She has worked as a librarian, creative writing teacher, radio producer and critic, and as a scriptwriter for radio, television and film, but primarily as a writer. The New Zealand Listener wrote: ‘In her craft and her storytelling and in her compassionate gutsy tough expression of female experience, she is the best we have.’
She has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships; in more recent years The Captive Wife was runner-up for the Deutz Medal for Fiction and was jointwinner of the Readers’ Choice Award in the 2006 Montana New Zealand Book Awards, and her short story collection The Trouble With Fire was shortlisted for both the NZ Post Book Awards and the Frank O’Connor Award.
Fiona Kidman was created a Dame (DNZM) in 1998 in recognition of her contribution to literature, and more recently a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honour.