Unity Books & Otago University Press invite you to celebrate the launch of
A Stange Beautiful Excitement
by Redmer Yska
Thurday 3rd August
In-store at Unity Books Wellington
57 Willis Street, Wellington
How does a city make a writer? Described by Fiona Kidman as a ‘ravishing, immersing read’, A Strange Beautiful Excitement is a ‘wild ride’ through the Wellington of Katherine Mansfield’s childhood. From the grubby, wind-blasted streets of Thorndon to the hushed green valley of Karori, author Redmer Yska, himself raised in Karori, retraces Mansfield’s old ground: the sights, sounds and smells of the rickety colonial capital, as experienced by the budding writer.
Along the way his encounters and dogged research – into her Beauchamp ancestry, the social landscape, the festering, deadly surroundings – lead him (and us) to reevaluate long-held conclusions about the writer’s shaping years. They also lead to a thrilling discovery. This haunting and beautifully vivid book combines fact and fiction, biography and memoir, as Yska rediscovers Mansfield’s Wellington, unearthing her childhood as he goes, shining a new lamp on old territory.
It’s not enough to say I immensely enjoyed A Strange Beautiful Excitement… it’s simply splendid.
– Dame Fiona Kidman
…the best account I have ever read of Wellington and Karori as they were in Mansfield’s day … Vivid
and vigorous, it is a pleasure to read. – Kathleen Jones, KM biographer
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