Read all about Magnolia’s literary favourites below. Unity will be hosting the double poetry launch for Magnolia’s debut poetry collection, Because a Woman’s Heart is Like a Needle at the Bottom of the Ocean (AUP) and Gregory Kan’s Under Glass (AUP), 6-7:30pm Wednesday 13th March 2019. All welcome.
About the book
A first collection from a significant new voice in New Zealand poetry. Through fun and gore, love and monsters, Sugar Magnolia Wilson’s riveting first collection takes readers inside a world where past and present, fiction and fact, author and subject collide. Playful and yet not so sunny, these poems invite you in with extravagant and surprising imagery, only to reveal the uneasy, Frankenstein world within.
About the author
Sugar Magnolia Wilson is from a valley called Fern Flat in the Far North of New Zealand. She completed her MA in creative writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University of Wellington in 2012. Her work has been published in the literary journals Turbine, Shenandoah, Cordite, Food Court, Landfall and Sport. In 2014 she co-founded the journal Sweet Mammalian, with Hannah Mettner and Morgan Bach.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING AND HOW DID YOU DISCOVER THE BOOK(S)?
I’m currently reading Washington Black by Esi Edugyan. The Man Booker 2018 shortlist basically. My iphone has robbed me of several years of novel reading, and so I’m backtracking and reading all the stuff the internet hypnotised me out of reading. Washington Black is a savage and important reminder of the absolute horrors of slavery.
WHO ARE YOUR FAVOURITE WRITERS AND WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT THEM?
Gah, hardest question ever. Hilary Mantel – magician, Han Kang – metamorphosis, Franz Kafka – see Han Kang, Dorothy Baker – mercurial, Elif Batuman – so funny, Mary Ruefle – queen of unidentifiable feelings, Mary Oliver – spirituality, Atsuro Riley – an unassuming James Joyce, V.S. Naipaul – he was too smart for me to know why I love him. I mean, this list could be 3000 pages long if my memory were better.
WHAT BOOKS ARE ON YOUR BEDSIDE TABLE?
Elmet by Fiona Mozley, Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood, Autumn by Ali Smith, Washington Black by Esi Edugyan and Milkman by Anna Burns – Man Booker represent.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK-TO-FILM ADAPTATION?
Lordy. No idea! I almost never like them. They did a good job of Gone Girl?! More often than not, they’re travesties.
WHAT BOOK HAVE YOU RE-READ THE MOST AND WHY?
I never re-read books! Like, ever. I’m not really the fan-girl type (although I have, bizarrely, had a late transition into being a total trekkie). I have a fear of commitment and can barely commit to a full-length movie, and I read magazines backwards in case I … want to not read them suddenly. Too many good books to read to go around re-reading stuff.
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE LITERARY CHARACTER?
I really love the brain of Cassandra from Dorothy Baker’s book, Cassandra at the Wedding. She’s so fiercely intelligent and such an excellent non-conformist and I loved being inside her moonstruck noggin. Also – Xas from The Vintner’s Luck is just … profoundly amazing. OF COURSE that is what an angel would be like!
WHAT BOOK HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN MEANING TO READ BUT STILL HAVEN’T GOTTEN AROUND TO?
Anna Karenina!! I know it’ll probably change my life, like Frankenstein did. But … alas … Instagram.
WHICH THREE WRITERS WOULD YOU HAVE OVER FOR DINNER?
Hannah Mettner, Emma Barnes and Mary Shelley. All good at drinking wine. A+ to them.
WHAT WOULD YOU COOK THEM?
Lol I don’t cook. We would meet at Rita.
HOW ARE YOUR BOOKS SHELVED AND ORGANISED AT HOME?
By height and width. All the tall, thick books are together, all the skinny poetry books are together, and all the shorter thick books are together. My partner is a bit of a Marie Kondo. If it were just me they’d be in piles underneath undies, etc.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE LITERARY QUOTE?
May the creative force be with you. – by me, right now.