Thursday, August 18, 2016

Playing for Both Sides - Love Across the Tasman

Playing for Both Sides
Love Across the Tasman

Stephanie Johnson

For several years after our return, I had the eerie feeling that my Sydney life continued, that I had somehow split in half and lived two lives at once; I had only to somehow find the money for a plane fare, and I could slip back inside that other skin. 

Like many New Zealanders, Stephanie Johnson’s life has been informed by her experiences in Australia. For artists in particular, ‘the West Island’ looms large in the creative imagination. As a New Zealand writer, it was here that Johnson found her path: her beginnings as a published author, marriage to an Australian, and importantly the birth of her son, the musician Skyscraper Stan.

In her candid memoir, Playing for Both Sides: Love Across the Tasman the Australia of her past colours Johnson’s reflections as she accompanies her son on a tour through Queensland and New South Wales. She contemplates the close yet complex relationship between the two countries.

On the road, Johnson considers the lives and careers of other artists who left New Zealand, lived, created and made their homes in Australia. The artistic connections between the countries, as well as the cultural distances, are fruitful in her exploration of the antipodean voice. Observing Skyscraper Stan as he pursues his own challenging musical path, Johnson muses on motherhood, family and creativity.

Playing for Both Sides is a fresh and intimate addition to the BWB literary memoir collection.

About the author

Stephanie Johnson currently holds the 2016 Creative New Zealand Randell Cottage Writing Residency in Thorndon, Wellington, and is a leading New Zealand novelist whose books have won many awards. Her novel The Shag Incident won the Montana Deutz Medal for Fiction in 2003. Her most recent novels have been The Writing Class and The Writers’ Festival. She has published collections of poetry, short stories and plays, and worked as an actress. Johnson co-founded and directed the early years of the Auckland Writers’ Festival with Peter Wells. She is also a critic and creative writing teacher.

RRP: $14.99 (print)
RRP: $4.99 (ebook)
180 x 110 mm
ISBN 9780947492991

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