Tips for a Better World by

Writers Need Readers: NZ Society of Authors

May’s Salon features two Dunedin based writers, Maxine Alterio and Heather Bauchop.

Heather Bauchop is a public historian who has written on iwi history and historic heritage. Her short fiction and poetry have appeared in a number of journals, including Takahe, Headland, Alluvia and Poetry New Zealand.

In her first collection of poetry, an unnamed man navigates his past across distant oceans to the cold island of his family; the same man, working as an historian imagines and reconstructs the history and physical fabric of an 1882 gentleman farmer’s residence; a found manuscript discovered beneath the floor gives voice to an unidentified woman whose life was lived out in a cell at the rear of this residence. A spare narrative poem in three voices, Remembering a Place I’ve Never Been, Cold Hub Press, 2018, examines our relationship with the past, the construction of memory and history.

Readers will mainly be familiar with Maxine Alterio’s writing through her historical novels, Ribbons of Grace and Lives We Leave Behind. Maxine moves into the contemporary fiction genre with her latest novel, The Gulf Between, published in April 2019 by Penguin.

Under the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, love, lies and disenchantment lead to a menacing showdown in this suspense-filled novel. A foreigner is seriously injured not far from Julia's safe Queenstown hideaway. Why does he have her name in his wallet? His unexpected arrival takes Julia back forty-five years to London, where she first met Benito Moretti - a meeting that took her to the glittering Gulf of Naples where Julia soon found herself pitted against her belligerent mother-in-law and Benito’s sinister brother in a lethal battle for her husband and children. Julia remembered her father saying, we’re all as sick as our secrets, words that still haunt her.

To hear Maxine and Heather read from their works come along to Salon at the Athenaeum Library, between The Craik and Thistle in the Octagon, on Monday 13th May. Readings start at 7pm. All welcome.