Unity Books Wellington is delighted to be hosting the launch of Avi Duckor-Jones’ SWIM
and Anna Jackson’s Bed-Making Competition – Winners of the 2018 Viva La Novella Prize.
“For the first time ever, Seizure’s novella prize has been won by New Zealanders. Viva la Novella has been open to our neighbours across the Tasman for the past six years but this is the first year that we have had entries of such incredible work from Kiwis. It is with great pleasure that we announce this year’s winners, two novellas very different in tone but alike in quality. Swim by Avi Duckor-Jones is a vital, vivid work on facing the past while being daunted by the future. The Bed-Making Competition is an intimate and witty look at the joys and strains of family life.”
Thursday 13th September, 6-7:30pm
Unity Books Wellington, 57 Willis St.
Jacob is an open-water, distance swimmer, a free spirit who has spent years travelling the world, woking odd jobs between ocean swims. But when he recieves a letter from his sick and estranged mother, he must return to his native New Zealand. He spends the summer in the small bay of his adolescence, renovating the summer shack his father had built, as he tries to make sense of the tragedies that took place there years before. It is only when Jacob discovers an island, far out to sea, that he imagines a chance for redemption and reconciliation with his past.
Swim is a rich and visceral novella which wrestles with what it means to be an adult, and how a tragic past can overshadow the present. It offers an enduring ode to the sea by striking a new Antipodean voice.
Avi Duckor-Jones is an Auckland based writer. Although trained as a lawyer, Avi gained his MA in creative writing from Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters in 2013. His travel writing has been published by BBC Travel, The NZ Listener and Lonely Planet. Avi has worked as a writing instructor and trip leader for National Geographic, directed a school in Ghana, and is the recent winner of NZ Survivor.
About BED-MAKING COMPETITION
From teenage rebellion to the most painful of goodbyes, The Bed-making Competition chronicles the coming of age of Hillary and Bridgid. Told over five sections, each separated by years and kilometres, we follow the sisters as they manage abandonment, motherhood, illness and the ineffable connections of the families that we are born into and those that we create. Spiked with dark humour and bracingly familiar depictions of the overwhelming ambivalence of filial love, Anna Jackson’s novella is a book of riotous energy and great heart.
Anna Jackson is a poet and academic living in Island Bay, Wellington. Her most recent collection of poetry is Pasture and Flock: New and Selected Poems (Auckland University Press, 2018).
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