As we approach the final countdown to WORD Christchurch 2022 I have studied the amazing line up and chosen 3 events I absolutely cannot miss.
The Faraway Near: Rachel Kushner
Friday 2 September 2pm to 3pm
Why? Rachel Kushner is the best in the business.
I could not be more excited for this event. In my humble opinion Rachel Kushner has written two of the great American novels of the last 20 years, The Flamethrowers and The Mars Room. What always strikes me about her writing is a great sense of place and research, whatever world she inhabits is going to be fully authentic.
This leads brilliantly to the world of non-fiction and this collection of essays and memoir, The Hard Crowd does not disappoint, it’s a kaleidoscope of topics each as fascinating as the last. With so many diverse topics in The Hard Crowd, this event is going to be a wild ride and a must-see.
Books by Rachel Kushner
Kim Hill's interview with Rachel Kushner on Radio NZ, 13 August 2022
Noelle McCarthy: Grand
Friday 2 September 6pm to 7pm
Why? Because this is the best memoir I have read in like forever and it's the word-of-mouth hit of this year.
Full disclosure, before reading Grand I was pretty sure it was written for me with my tastes in mind. It has all the elements I love when reading non-fiction.
Want a memoir about complicated relationships and mortality, CHECK.
Want some heart-breaking struggles but told with pathos and humour, CHECK.
I even lived in Cork City, Ireland where Noelle grew up and recreates so vividly through her prose.
With all these factors in mind this book still exceeded all my expectations and has been equally adored by anyone I have passed it on to.
I imagine this event will have everyone laughing and crying in equal measures.
Kim Hill interviews Noelle on Radio NZ, 19 March 2022
The Faraway Near: Ottessa Moshfegh
Sunday 4 September 10am to 11am
Why? This one is sure to be interesting.
Like a lot of people I first encountered Ottessa Moshfegh with her first novel Eileen, a novel I still think about and debate with friends 6 + years after reading.
I have been a devout reader of her work ever since and consider her to be the pre-eminent author fighting the good fight against the milquetoast contemporary novels of this world.
To read a writer who evokes such strong emotional reactions from readers is a rare thing and I can’t wait to see how this event plays out.
Books by Ottessa Moshfegh
Eamonn, Redwood Library
Visit our page of WORD 2022 Festival coverage and info