Author to discuss story of family life

Charlotte Grimshaw previously won the fiction prize at the national book awards and is a three...
Charlotte Grimshaw previously won the fiction prize at the national book awards and is a three-time reviewer of the year. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
The author behind what is shaping up to be the country’s most controversial book of the year is heading to Dunedin to discuss it.

Charlotte Grimshaw’s memoir The Mirror Book has consistently made headlines since it was published in April, due to its unflinching portrayal of her early family life.

Her father is literary heavyweight C.K. Stead, who almost simultaneously released the final instalment of his memoirs What you made of it, which told a more harmonious story.

The Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival will bring Grimshaw to Dunedin on July 29 to speak about her book, which was sparked by the writer’s conversations with a psychologist after the breakdown of her marriage.

It marks the examination and re-examination of the narratives surrounding her memories of a childhood in a famous literary family, and the effect the careful construction of those narratives had on her sense of self and stability.

“Many readers have contacted me to say they found the book helpful, and that it made them think about their own experiences. I hope it’s an interesting family story, too,” she said.

University Book Shop general manager Phillippa Duffy will talk to Grimshaw about the messy reality of family life and the different versions of truth drawn from memory.

“What a treat to have Charlotte Grimshaw in Dunedin to talk about her work as a writer, reviewer, award-winner and columnist,” Ms Duffy said.

“I’m interested in the complexities of her different-lived family experiences making it on to the page and out into the world, and am sure her enormous intellect and legally-trained preciseness will make for a really interesting conversation.”

The session will be held at Hanover Hall.


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