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  • Published: 1 March 2013
  • ISBN: 9781775531814
  • Imprint: RHNZ Adult ebooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 213

Son of France



With a hint of philosophy, a dash of insanity, and a woman who could make Gauguin's mouth water, this novel takes the usual ingredients of history and tosses them into the air.

With a hint of philosophy, a dash of insanity, and a woman who could make Gauguin's mouth water, this novel takes the usual ingredients of history and tosses them into the air.

Welcome to the beautiful French colony of New Zealand! OK, so it never happened. But it nearly did . . . Welcome to beautiful French New Zealand - a paradise of vineyards, cafes and forest conservation. The year is 1930. Lieutenant Verdier is travelling from Sainte Chapelle in the south to New Lyon in the north to take up a new posting as chauffeur to the Resident Governor. The sun is shining, the war in Morocco is just a distant memory, and although he has doubts about his new employer, at least Verdier can look forward to driving the latest Citroen. The only problem is Wellington, where a few disgruntled English still remain, grumbling that the colony should have been theirs, and charging everyone a fortune for insurance.

As soon as Verdier can, he escapes to the glorious scenery and welcoming people of the National Park. Then someone steals his car. And instead of passing through the park, Verdier embarks on a journey up its winding rivers and tortuous tracks to where Titoko and Marama are waiting, as if they always knew he would come.

The French language edition of Son of France was awarded the Prix Popai for best foreign novel at the Salon International du Livre Océanien, New Caledonia, in 2005.

  • Published: 1 March 2013
  • ISBN: 9781775531814
  • Imprint: RHNZ Adult ebooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 213

About the author

Geoff Cush

Geoff Cush, novelist, playwright and journalist, was born in Christchurch and educated in Nelson and Wellington. His first novel was published in London, and his first play performed at the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith. He has written extensively for commercial theatre in Britain, written travel features for The Times, and contributed to the Marshall Cavendish Murder Casebook. In 2003 he was shortlisted for the prestigious $60,000 Prize in Modern Letters. He has participated in writers’ festivals in New Zealand, in the 2006 Les Belles Éstrangères festival in France, a nationwide celebration of New Zealand writing, and held the Monastère de Saorge residency in France in 2005/2006. The French language edition of Son of France was awarded the Prix Popai for best foreign novel at the Salon International du Livre Océanien, New Caledonia, in 2005. He now lives in Wellington.

His novels include: God Help the Queen (1987); Son of France (2002); and A Voyage with the Muezzin (2007), a historical novel set in the Middle East.Son of France was selected as one of the best New Zealand novels of the year by The New Zealand Herald, which described it as ‘a terrific story which is a mixture of dark satire and a delightful comedy of manners’. It has subsequently been a set text taught at university level. Plays include The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals (1993). He has adapted several novels for the stage, including: The Simple Past (1996) an adaptation of the Driss Chraibi’s classic novel Le Passe Simple; and Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novel Guards! Guards! (in 1997).

London’s City Limits described God Help the Queen as ‘a bleak and funny picture of London in the future’. The Times Literary Supplement called The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals ‘a night of knockabout philosophy and cruel fun’, while in The Times Benedict Nightingale wrote that it ‘might have been written in tandem with Jonathan Swift . . . outlandish, oddball and, yes, original.’

His journalism, book reviews and features for newspapers and magazines, have appeared in: The Times (London); Geo (Paris); The New Zealand Listener; TheDominion Post; and New Zealand Books. His writing has also featured in various anthologies, including The Colour of Distance: New Zealand Writers in France — French writers in New Zealand. Extracts from recent fiction and memoir have appeared in the 2012 and 2013 editions of the New Zealand/French literary periodical Percutio.

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