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  • Published: 1 November 2011
  • ISBN: 9781869796402
  • Imprint: RHNZ Adult ebooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 272
Categories:

At the End of Darwin Road

A Memoir




This isn't just the story of Fiona Kidman, but also of New Zealand, our recent past, our literary world.

An evocative memoir about the emergence of a pre-eminent writer in a changing world

'What I have to tell is largely a personal narrative about how I came to inhabit a fictional world'

This absorbing memoir explores the first half of writer Fiona Kidman's life, notably in Kerikeri amid the 'sharp citric scent of orange groves, bright heat and . . . the shadow of Asia' - at the end of Darwin Road. From the distance of France, where Kidman spent time as the Katherine Mansfield Fellow in Menton, she reconsiders the past, weaving personal reflection and experience with the history of the places where she lived, particularly the fascinating northern settlements of Kerikeri and Waipu, and further south the cities of Rotorua and Wellington.

Her story crosses paths with those of numerous different New Zealanders, from the Tuhoe prophet Rua Kenana, to descendants of the migration from Scotland led by a charismatic Presbyterian minister, to other writers and significant friends. We learn of Kidman's struggles to establish herself as a writer and to become part of different communities, and how each worked their way into her fiction.

At the End of Darwin Road is a vivid memoir of place and family, and of becoming a writer: 'I was certain that . . . I would continue to write, if possible, every day of my life.'

  • Published: 1 November 2011
  • ISBN: 9781869796402
  • Imprint: RHNZ Adult ebooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 272
Categories:

About the author

Fiona Kidman

Fiona Kidman has published over 30 books, including novels, poetry, non-fiction and a play. She has worked as a librarian, radio producer and critic, and as a scriptwriter for radio, television and film. 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 joint-winner 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 Short Story Award. Her novel This Mortal Boy won the 2019 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize, the NZ Booklovers Award, the NZSA Heritage Book Award for Fiction and the Ngaio Marsh Crime Writing Award for Best Novel.

She 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. ‘We cannot talk about writing in New Zealand without acknowledging her,’ wrote New Zealand Books. ‘Kidman’s accessible prose and the way she shows (mainly) women grappling to escape from restricting social pressures has guaranteed her a permanent place in our fiction.’

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