Here's the fantastic line up for the 2019 Festival.
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Joanne Drayton is an acclaimed New York Times bestselling author who has published six books and numerous chapters and articles. She has curated exhibitions and publishes in art history, theory and biography. In 2007, she was awarded a National Library Fellowship, and in 2017 the prestigious Logan Fellowship at the Carey Institute in upstate New York.
To a generation of New Zealanders, Keith Murdoch was a headline name that would not disappear. To a newer generation, he was perhaps less well known. It was time therefore that the Keith Murdoch story be written, to put an end to speculation and exaggeration. It was time an attempt was made to establish more clearly what led to his being evicted from the All Blacks’ tour of the northern hemisphere in 1972. But more than that, it was necessary to paint a fuller picture of Murdoch and his times – to understand not just him, but rugby and its importance to two small countries, New Zealand and Wales. Dr Ron Palenski has written many books and is probably best known for rugby and general sports history. He has, however, also written military and New Zealand history, including a major study of how disparate nationalities adapted to their new land and became New Zealanders.
Amber Rose is a food writer and cook who grew up in rural New Zealand surrounded by organic gardens and heritage produce. She has traveled the world cooking and working in cafes and restaurants, and spent several years in the UK where she was a private chef to Sadie Frost and Jude Law before becoming a doula, giving nutritional advice and cooking for new mums. She is the author of two cookbooks, Love Bake Nourish and The Wholefood Pantry. She lives north of Auckland.
Together, Corey Mosen and Ajax travel through the steep high country throughout the South Island searching out kea nests. Their part in the kea conservation effort is essential and both Ajax and Corey are an inseparable duo.
Their heart-warming yarns include how Ajax was trained to be one of the very few kea detection dogs in the world and tells of his various escapades in the unpredictable wilds of the steep back-country, including flying in helicopters, working in blizzards, heavy rain and dense fog, escaping from angry wasps and sleeping out in the bitter cold. The strong connection between Ajax and Corey has proved vital to their survival and the important work that they do. Ajax is slowing down now and soon his high-country days will be over.
Paul Cleave is an award winning author from Christchurch, where all his previous novels have been set. His works have been bestsellers that been translated into twenty languages. He’s won the Ngaio Marsh Award three times, the Saint-Maur book festival’s crime novel of the year award, and has been shortlisted for the Edgar and the Barry and the Ned Kelly. He’s thrown his Frisbee in over forty counties and is trying, and struggling, to learn the guitar. Whatever It Takes is his latest novel.
Columnist Leah McFall joined Sunday in 2016. Known for her humorous takes on lifestyle trends, middle age and the royal family, she celebrates and defends the overlooked suburban woman in her writing.
Leah won a 2018 Voyager Media Award for General Opinion-Writing and released her first collection, Karori Confidential, last October.
Albert Belz (Ngati Porou, Nga Puhi, Ngati Pokai) born 1973, has been a professional writer for television, film and theatre since 2001.
His first script for theatre, Te Maunga, was performed in 2001 to critical acclaim. His next hugely successful play, Awhi Tapu, was nominated for several Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards. In 2006 Yours Truly won Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards for Best New New Zealand Play, and Most Original Play amidst many other awards that year. Raising the Titanics toured New Zealand and won The New Zealand Listeners Best New New Zealand Play 2010.
His children’s play Maui Magic has entertained the masses at several children’s holiday programs across Auckland. Albert has worked with Red Leap Theatre as their Story Editor. He has been writer-in-residence at Waikato University and Victoria University of Wellington.
Tina Makereti writes essays, novels and short fiction. Her latest novel is The Imaginary Lives of James Pōneke and she co-edited Black Marks on the White Page (2017), an anthology that celebrates Māori and Pasifika writing. In 2016 her story ‘Black Milk’ won the Commonwealth Writers Short Story Prize, Pacific region. Her first novel Where the Rēkohu Bone Sings won the 2014 Ngā Kupu Ora Aotearoa Māori Book Award for Fiction, also won by her short story collection, Once Upon a Time in Aotearoa (2010). Tina teaches creative writing and Oceanic literatures at Massey University. Her collection of personal essays, This Compulsion in Us, will be published 2020.
Fiona Kidman has published over thirty works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Her most recent novel This Mortal Boy won the Acorn Fiction Prize at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards 2019.
Her awards include the Prime Ministers Award for Fiction and the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship. She has been honoured with a DNZM , OBE, and the French Legion of Honour (Legion d'honneur ). Fiona lives in Wellington and enjoys reading (of course), movies, travelling when she can, and the companionship of friends and family.