Witi Ihimaera and Owen Marshall, 2015 Randell Cottage Writers in Residence [fr]
Two of New Zealand’s leading writers, Witi Ihimaera and Owen Marshall, have been jointly named as Randell Cottage Writers in Residence for 2015. The writers will live and work in Thorndon’s Randell Cottage for three months each, in the second half of 2015.
Witi Ihimaera is a novelist, short story writer, anthologist and librettist, was born in Gisborne. He is of Te Whanau A Kai and Ngati Porou descent with close affiliations to several iwi. His works include Tangi, The Matriarch, The Whale Rider, (which was made in to a film by Niki Caro in 2002), and the semi-autobiographical Nights in the Gardens of Spain . A memoir, Maori Boy has just been released by Random House. Ihimaera became a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2004, for services to literature.
Ihimaera will use his time at the Randell Cottage to work on a second volume of his three volume memoir Native Son, covering the period 1961 to 1990, a trajectory that sets his life against national and international history. The residency will enable him to consult his own archives at the J.B. Beaglehole Room and also the Foreign Affairs archives at the National Library.
Ihimeara says “writing a book is like running a marathon, so there’s a physical advantage in the residency as it’s equidistant to my two archives.”
Timaru-based writer Owen Marshall has published or edited almost thirty books, including novels, short stories and poetry including Living as a Moon,Watch of Gryphons, and Carnival Sky. His 1999 novel Harlequin Rex won the 2000 Deutz Medal for Fiction at the Montana Book Awards. He has held fellowships at the universities of Canterbury and Otago and in Menton, France. Marshall is an adjunct professor at the University of Canterbury, which awarded him the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters in 2002. In 2000 he became an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to literature and in 2012, a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. In 2013 Marshall was awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement in fiction.
Marshall will be working on a contemporary novel concerning a love affair between a mature couple, one a widower, the other married, in which he will explore the power of such emotional attachments and their sometimes irrational and damaging consequences.
For Marshall: “It’s a privilege and a pleasure to share the 2015 fellowship with Witi Ihimaera and I look forward to writing in the stimulating environment of Wellington and being part of the literary community there.”
Randell Writers’ Cottage
The Randell Writers’ Cottagewas established in 2001 as a rotational residency for French and New Zealand writers and was inaugurated by New Zealand author Peter Wells and French writer Nadine Ribault.
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