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Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival - Fiction Writers

Maureen Brook —

The Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival runs from Thursday 6 May to Sunday 9 May.

This year's Festival is focused entirely on New Zealand writers. There are many wide and varied events and the following are examples of books from the fiction writers taking part.

The Girl in the Mirror. Rose Carlyle
Twin sisters Iris and Summer are physically alike but quite different in character. Iris has always been envious of Summer's seemingly good fortune in life, and when Iris is asked to sail the family yacht to the Seychelles, she is hoping to make some changes in her life. When she finds herself in the middle of the Indian Ocean she has the chance to take what she has always wanted. How far will she go? And how will she keep her secret?

The Life of De'Ath.  Majella Cullinane
After a family tragedy, Theodore De'Ath moves to Otago to live with his grandparents. He becomes fascinated with the Underworld and reads literary works on the subject. Set against the backdrop of the first world war, when conscription comes in 1916, Theodore is obliged to join New Zealand soldiers in France. Later, trying to survive as a deserter risking arrest and a death sentence, Theodore soon learns the true meaning of hell.

The Parihaka Woman. Witi Ihimaera
The community of Parihaka in the Taranaki is the place Erenora calls home. Her story is told against the turbulent events which took place in Parihaka during the 1870s and 1880s. Erenora's husband, Horitana has been arrested and exiled to the South Island, and in order to restore and protect her family, she disguises herself and goes on a mission to rescue him and bring him home.

Aue. Becky Manawatu
Taukiri is a teenager struggling with the death of his father and his mother's disappearance.  After being abused by his uncle, Taukiri leaves his home and younger brother, Arama to his own devices.  It is Arama, however, who is the brave one and confronts the violence on his own terms, with the power of love and friendship.

All this by Chance. Vincent O'Sullivan
In 1947 young New Zealander Stephen, is studying pharmacy in London. He meets Eva, who has grown up English with no memory of her Jewish roots.  They decide to emigrate to New Zealand but before doing so, they meet an aunt of Eva's who tells her about the horrors of the Holocaust and Eva's parents' decision to send Eva to England to avoid approaching Nazism.  Eva and Stephen choose not to speak of Eva's back ground but as the story unfolds it is their son David and his daughter Esther, who embrace their Jewish heritage.

Quiet in her Bones.  Nalini Singh
The body of Nina Rai has been found in a forest which surrounds the exclusive area where she used to live. Nina had disappeared ten years before and it was thought she had left to start a new life elsewhere. Nina's son, Aarav, is a troubled young man, haunted by the death of his mother.  He is determined to find out the truth regarding her death, but Nina was a difficult woman who had many enemies, and Aarav soon learns that the killer could have been any one of the neighbours, and at one point, even suspects himself of the murder.