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Join two top Kiwi authors as they plug their acclaimed memoirs Goneville and My Father's Island on a whirlwind bookshop tour.
In his award-winning memoir, New Zealand writer and musician Nick Bollinger talks with complete candour about his unorthodox childhood, his obsession with music, the impact of a family tragedy, and the journey that would decide the course of his life. Bollinger was just 18 when he went on the road with the band Rough Justice and its smoky-voiced, charismatic leader Rick Bryant. The next two years were sometimes uplifting and exciting, other times enervating and depressing. It was the 1970s and pot was plentiful. Often, though, the band was short of other things: money, food, shelter, and petrol for its increasingly ramshackle, broken-down bus.
Goneville is both a coming-of-age story and an intimate look at the evolving music scene in '70s New Zealand. It shows how this music intersected - sometimes violently - with the prevailing culture, in which real men played rugby, not rock. Nick Bollinger draws on his own experiences, seeks out key players and unsung heroes and vividly portrays a divided country, set to shatter apart for a generation.
Winner of the Adam Foundation Prize in Creative Writing.
After the death of his brilliant, eccentric father, Adam Dudding went in search of the stories and secrets of a man who had been a loving parent and husband, but was also a tormented, controlling and at times cruel man.
Robin Dudding was the greatest New Zealand literary editor of his generation – friend and mentor of many of our best-known writers. At his peak he published the country’s finest literary journal on the smell of an oily rag from a falling-down house overflowing with books, long-haired children and chickens – an island of nonconformity in the heart of 1970s Auckland suburbia. Yet when Robin’s uncompromising integrity tipped into something much more self-destructive, a dark shadow fell over his career and personal life.
In My Father’s Island, Adam Dudding writes frankly about the rise and fall of an unconventional cultural figure. But this is also a moving, funny and deeply personal story of a family, of a marriage, of feuds and secret loves – and of a son’s dawning understanding of his father.
Robin Dudding would have been proud of Adam for writing this book – but maybe he would also have been horrified. My Father’s Island is an important piece of social and cultural history, seen through the lens of a family tale that is – paradoxically – both compassionate and merciless. This is a wonderfully well-told story of a life that starts out full of hope, then goes to troubling places. Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, etc. And then it wasn’t. —Bill Manhire
Shortlisted for the 2017 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards