There was excitement in the air on the evening of Thursday 14th September as friends, family and eager readers gathered in Unity Books for the launch of Annaleese Jochems’ debut novel Baby. Written during her Masters year at Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters and published by Victoria University Press, Baby signals the emergence of a fresh, lively new voice in New Zealand literature.
After an introduction from publisher Fergus Barrowman, fellow novelist Pip Adam shared her thoughtful and enthusiastic impressions of the book with us. “There’s a lot of amazing things about this book, but Jochems’ control of reality and the way it bleeds into the world we’re standing in makes this book no place for cowards, and also, if you can brave it, one of the best reads you will have in your life.”
Annaleese, wearing a pastel-hued shirt to co-ordinate with her book, wrapped up the speeches with a reading. Fuelled by the jam sandwiches on offer, the audience then lined up to have their books signed.
You can purchase a copy of Baby in-store or online here.
Words and photography by Cassie Richards