In this exquisitely written ‘notebook’, Kirsty Gunn explores the meaning of home. Returning to the city of her birth after an absence of thirty years, Gunn’s exploration quickly takes on new forms, developing into a ‘Katherine Mansfield Project’.
Zig-zagging across Thorndon streets, Wellington hills and New Zealand childhoods, Gunn’s project charts a terrain of emotional attachment and the source of potent imaginative forces. A wonderfully connective work from the winner of the 2013 New Zealand Post Book of the Year.
Kirsty Gunn is the author of seven works of fiction including a collection of short stories and a compendium of poetry, essays and fragments, and is published in the UK by Faber and Faber and in over twelve countries and languages throughout the world.
Her most recent book, The Big Music, was listed for the James Tait Black and IMPAC awards and won The New Zealand Post Book of the Year 2013. The boy and the seawas the 2007 Sundial Scottish Book of the Year and her previous work Featherstone was listed as a New York Times Notable Book and received a Scottish Arts Council Bursary for Literature.
She has a Chair in Creative Writing at the University of Dundee where she established and directs the programme of Writing Practice and Study. Her new collection of short stories Infidelities is to be published by Faber and Faber later this year. She is married with two daughters and lives in London and Scotland.
In this remarkable work of fiction, Kirsty Gunn has created something as real as music or as magical as a dream. One emerges at the end of it altered and changed. Not so much a novel as a place the reader comes to inhabit and know, The Big Music is a literary work of undeniable originality and power.
The moment that Emily's friend Evan Gordonstone - a successful middle-aged financier - meets Caroline Beresford - a glamorous former horsewoman, and now housewife, hostess, and landlady - there is a 'PING!' At least, that's how Evan describes it to Emily when he persuades her to record his story: the story of falling into unrequited love, which is as old as Western literature itself. Thus begins a hypnotic series of conversations set against the beguiling backdrop of West London's bars, fuelled in intensity by endless G&Ts and Q&As. From the depths of mid-winter to July's hot swelter, Emily's narration of Evan's passion for Caroline will take him to the brink of his own destruction.
Written in a voice so playful, so charismatic, and so thoughtfully aware of the responsibilities of fiction it can only be by Kirsty Gunn, Caroline's Bikini is a swooning portrait of courtly love - in a modern world not celebrated for its restraint and abstraction. Ready. Steady. Go!
In ‘Dangerous Dog’, a fitness instructor teaches teenage boys how to handle a pit bull terrier by telling them Jane Eyre’s story.
Edited by Tracy Chevalier, the full collection, Reader, I Married Him, brings together some of the finest and most creative voices in fiction today, to celebrate and salute the strength and lasting relevance of Charlotte Brontë’s game-changing novel and its beloved narrator.