Blog

Rachel Getting Married

The most beautiful home movie ever made

May 7, 2017

Tracy Farr

I was sorry to hear, a fortnight ago, of the death of film director Jonathan Demme. The tweets and obits all namechecked the films he’s best known for: The Silence of the Lambs (1991, five Oscars), Philadelphia (1993, two Oscars), and (arguably the best concert film ever) Stop Making Sense (1984). But my thoughts turned first to his 2008 film Rachel Getting Married. The film had a mixed reception from critics on its release. Roger Ebert gave it four out of four stars; another critic compared the film to a two-hour colonoscopy without anaesthetic (I can’t find the original link, but there’s a great piece in the Vancouver ...
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Postcards From Surfers, inscribed

‘Shelf Awareness: Tracy Farr’ interview with Maureen Eppen

May 2, 2017

Tracy Farr

Perth writer and reviewer Maureen Eppen wrote two great articles (in The West Australian newspaper back in February, and in Good Reading magazine’s April issue) as a result of our long phone interview back in January this year. I was delighted when Maureen asked if I’d take part in her new blog series, Shelf Awareness, in which writers and bookish people respond to ten questions about the work they do and the books and authors they love, and share some photos of their own bookshelves (because who doesn’t love to stickybeak at the bookshelves of others?). Maureen published my responses – in words and images – ...
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Tracy, Dunsborough, 1967

2, 2 and 2: talking about The Hope Fault

April 18, 2017

Tracy Farr

I’m a huge fan of Perth writer Amanda Curtin’s work, particularly her beautiful novels Elemental and The Sinkings. I was delighted when she asked me to contribute a guest blog post for her 2, 2 and 2 series, celebrating writers and their new books. For my 2, 2 and 2 post for Amanda, I wrote about two throwaway lines that inspired the The Hope Fault, two fictional places that are important in the novel (and their real-life origins), and two of my favourite characters in the novel. Read the blog post (‘2, 2 and 2: Tracy Farr talks about The Hope Fault’) online. Read Amanda Curtin’s blog looking ...
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Wallaby at Meow (photo Helen Kettles)

Music to warm a book by

April 1, 2017

Tracy Farr

This week we held a bookwarming in Wellington to celebrate the publication earlier in the month of my second novel, The Hope Fault. A bunch of us gathered (like the bunch of people in my book gather) to talk and drink and eat, under the unsettling but appropriate gaze of the wallabies and possums dotted about the room at Meow. The book was warmed into public life by some beautiful words from gracious women who joined me on the stage, MC’d by Craig Stevens (reader, I married him). We started with a few words from my publisher. I was thrilled to have Yvette Walker (until recently Perth-based, Yvette now ...
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The Hope Fault (map at National Library)

The Hope Fault on the map – reviews, interviews, events

March 23, 2017

Tracy Farr

My second novel, The Hope Fault, was published this month, and it’s been a strange and wonderful few weeks watching it start to make its way onto the map of the big wide world of books. Here are some highlights, and a reminder to join us in Wellington on 28 March to celebrate the novel’s publication. Reviews Pip Adam’s lovely long-form review ‘Telescopic Time: A review of The Hope Fault’ was published this week in online arts and culture mag The Pantograph Punch. Pip also talked up The Hope Fault on RNZ here. David Herkt’s review of The Hope Fault for Fairfax was published in their regional papers around New Zealand last weekend. Interviews My first interview for The Hope Fault was a marathon (and hugely ...
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The Hope Fault — publication day

March 1, 2017

Tracy Farr

Today is, officially, publication day for my second novel, The Hope Fault. Fremantle Press have produced a beautiful looking book, and it was a particular delight to work once again with publisher Georgia Richter on this novel. It’s such a thrill to be with Fremantle Press — Georgia and Jane Fraser and Claire Miller and the whole team are amazing, and I am so grateful for the support and enthusiasm they’ve shown for this new book. I’m thrilled and a little bit overawed to have cover quotes for this book from the authors of two outstanding novels of the past two ...
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KSP ironwork

Writing workshop at KSP in Perth

February 18, 2017

Tracy Farr

I’m visiting Perth for 6 weeks, ahead of the publication (1 March) of my new novel The Hope Fault, and while I’m here I’m teaching a writing workshop at Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre (KSP) in Greenmount. It’s an updated version of a workshop I taught last year at Perth Writers Festival  and at WORD Christchurch Festival. If you’re interested, I hope you can join us on Saturday 18 February at KSP. Find details and a link for booking below. If you don’t already know it, KSP Writers’ Centre is a wonderful welcoming place for writers. Visit the KSP website to find out ...
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Great Big Book Read

The Great Big Book Read, Fremantle

February 1, 2017

Tracy Farr

I’m visiting Western Australia for 6 weeks in early 2017, and while I’m here I’ll be taking part in the first event that Fremantle Press is holding this year – their very first Great Big Book Read, at Clancy’s Fish Pub in Fremantle, on 1 February. The Great Big Book Read will celebrate five new books from Fremantle Press, all published in early 2017. I’ll be reading from my new novel, The Hope Fault, and it’ll be available on the night, ahead of its release in March. Hope to see you there!   Fremantle Press Great Big Book Read Five new books, one big night. Join Fremantle Press for the very first Great Big Book ...
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Syllabus

2016: my year in books

January 9, 2017

Tracy Farr

Like Jane Rawson this year, I decided a few years ago to try reading in private for a while, rather than publicly rating and/or reviewing books on Goodreads or other sites. And it’s been working for me, this curving of my arm around to hide the page as I read. In 2016, I kept track of my reading in a small green notebook — one book to a page, with little room for notes. For maybe four out of five books I read, I rated them when I finished reading. Sometimes, but not always, I commented on my response to the book — but without ...
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Ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive – a 2016 countdown

January 2, 2017

Tracy Farr

Let’s face it, 2016 has been a crap year for the world. And politically, 2017 scares the poop out of me (though let’s hope New Zealand seizes the opportunity later this year to #changethegovernment). But in writing terms, for me 2016 was a great year, and — with my new novel due out in a few months — I hope 2017 will be just as good. So I’m going to ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive and e-liminate the negative of 2016, with a random and belated countdown (a few days too late to ring in the new year) of five professional(ish) highlights of ...
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Good Dog 2016

Publication day: Good Dog! anthology

October 3, 2016

Tracy Farr

Today marks the publication of Good Dog! New Zealand Writers on Dogs, an anthology edited by Stephanie Johnson, and produced in glorious hardback by Vintage / Penguin Random House New Zealand. It has writing — poetry, fiction, essays, old and new — from a cast of New Zealand writers, including Fiona Kidman, Charlotte Grimshaw, Tina Makareti, Paula Morris, Michele Leggott, Steve Braunias, Sam Hunt … and Captain James Cook. I too have a piece in the collection. Titled ‘At the Bay’, it’s a chapter (and the first published extract) from my forthcoming novel The Hope Fault. Dogs don’t play a great ...
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The Hope Fault

Hope springs

September 26, 2016

Tracy Farr

A year ago today — in late September 2015 — I sent the manuscript of my second novel off to Georgia Richter, publisher and editor extraordinaire at Fremantle Press, with fingers crossed, but unsure what her response would be. I had had the pleasure of working with Georgia on my first novel, The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt, and she knew I’d been working on this second novel for the past few years. But I’d worked on it in a strange kind of self-imposed isolation; before I sent the manuscript to Georgia, no one had read it but me. I honestly had ...
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Hashtag wordchch

Aardvarks + Aussies + BUST, oh my!

August 12, 2016

Tracy Farr

In a fortnight I’ll be in Christchurch for WORD Christchurch Writers & Readers Festival 2016 (24–28 August). There’s a hashtag, of course; trust @kebabette to wear it with style. The last #WORDCHCH, in 2014, was fabulous (I wrote about it here and here, and here‘s the PechaKucha talk I gave there), and this year the festival promises (less scary than lions and tigers and bears) Aardvarks and Aussies and BUST. Oh my!   Aardvarks There’ll be a cluster (a flock, a herd, a Bureau) of Aardvarks at #WORDCHCH. Fresh new UK publisher Aardvark Bureau has three New Zealand authors (of a total of eight) on its list, and all three of us ...
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How To Name Baby

Lena Gaunt by any other name

June 10, 2016

Tracy Farr

Names are funny things, important things, and they fascinate me; indeed, my second novel, The Hope Fault, is at least partly about names and naming. I spend a lot of (aka too much) time mulling over character names in my writing. I love to name my chapters, too, title them rather than just giving them numbers or leaving them bareheaded. I have been known to come up with a title first, then write something to match. I was pleased to hear that, in this, I’m in the fine company of Elizabeth McCracken. In a session at Auckland Writers Festival last month, McCracken confessed that she ...
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Dancing round the May-Pole

The merry month of May

June 3, 2016

Tracy Farr

O, the month of May, the merry month of May, So frolic, so gay, and so green, so green, so green! ‘The Merry Month of May’ by Thomas Dekker (1599) The month just past (So frolic. Much gay. Many green. Wow.) would’ve warranted a celebratory skip around the maypole, if it hadn’t been a bit chilly and rainy for maypole-skipping in these parts. I’ll make do with a Merry May listicle, instead. Marking 20 years living in Wellington. We (the husband and I, fresh-faced, fresh from five years in Vancouver) arrived in New Zealand on Anzac Day 1996, and spent a cold and boozy week visiting ...
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