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The Life + Loves of Lena Gaunt (Aardvark Bureau 2016)

The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt published in the UK

January 9, 2016

Tracy Farr

Though it’s been creeping into shops (online and bricks-and-mortar) for the past few weeks, and already gaining some glowing early online reviews, today – 9 January 2016 – marks the official UK publication date for The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt (Aardvark Bureau). To celebrate, this is my virtual group hug to all involved, including but not limited to: The Aardvark Bureau/Gallic Books/Belgravia Books team, especially Jane Aitken and Emily Boyce, for bringing The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt to the big wide world. Former Aardvarkian Scott Pack, for stumbling upon The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt and bringing it to the Aardvark Bureau list ...
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Aardvark Bureau

Lena Gaunt and other titles on Aardvark Bureau 2016 list

November 15, 2015

Tracy Farr

In his blog post ‘The Aardvark emerges’, Scott Pack talks about the list of upcoming titles due from Aardvark Bureau in the first half of 2016. The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt (January 2016) is joined on the list by novels from two much-loved Wellington authors: Fiona Kidman‘s The Infinite Air (March 2016), and Damien Wilkins’ Max Gate. Fellow Fremantle Press author Robert Edeson‘s first novel, The Weaver Fish, is out in April from Aardvark. We have already published three books…Next year will see Aardvark Bureau in full flow. We kick off in January with a debut from New Zealand…The Life and Loves of Lena ...
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In Love and War: Nursing Heroes

Liz Byrski: In Love and War, and Lena

July 28, 2015

Tracy Farr

Liz Byrski was interviewed recently on WritingWA‘s Cover to Cover, about her most recent book, In Love and War: Nursing Heroes. Cover to Cover host Meri Fatin described the process of writing In Love and War as “as almost like a piece of plastic surgery in itself”. In this short excerpt from the 40-minute interview, Liz talks about what she learned from writing In Love and War. She also has some warm and generous things to say about my book, The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt. Here are links to the whole episode featuring Liz, as well as previous episodes. Cover to Cover Ep. 4: Liz Byrski, In Love and ...
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cat // sky // mildura

Midway in Mildura

July 15, 2015

Tracy Farr

My month as Writer in Residence in Mildura is already half over. How did that happen? Melbourne first The trip started with a 24-hour stopover in Melbourne. I spent much of the day working at the State Library of Victoria. What a treat to be able to waltz in, get a library card, request (and receive within half an hour) in-library use only references, all so easily and smoothly. I liked Hannie Rayson’s piece about the State Library, in The Age last weekend. Later in the day I met up with two until-then online-only writerly pals who, as it happens, both have books ...
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Mildura Writers Festival

Mildura Writers Festival and Residency

June 9, 2015

Tracy Farr

Next month’s going to be all about Mildura, so I’m going to keep this post short and sweet, as a taste of what’s to come. I’ve been lucky enough to be awarded the inaugural Mildura Writers Festival Residency. The residency is an initiative of Arts Mildura and the Mildura Writers Festival. During the month (July 2015) of the residency, I’ll have time and space to keep working on my current project, my second novel, The Hope Fault. As part of the residency I’ll also be writing blogs for the festival, and hosting a writing workshop or two in the community — great ...
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Aardvark Bureau

Debut novel picked up by new UK imprint

May 27, 2015

Tracy Farr

The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt caught the ear and eye of UK publisher Scott Pack in November 2014, and he rated it #2 in his top ten reads of 2014, calling it: An incredible debut and a novel so believable that I wish it were true. In March 2015, Scott launched Aardvark Bureau, a new imprint of UK publisher Gallic Books. I am curating what can only be described as an eclectic mix of titles. There will be fiction from around the world. There will be debuts. There will be the first UK publication for some authors long overdue an audience here. Now ...
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Auckland Writers Festival 2015

In praise of useless beauty

May 24, 2015

Tracy Farr

I’m not sure whether the 2000-odd-seat ASB Theatre was sold out for Tim Winton’s Auckland Writers Festival 2015 (AWF15) session last Sunday morning, but it was certainly close to packed, and there was a lot of love in the room for Winton. I was seated wa-a-aay up in the gods, which felt like an appropriate place from which to watch the sometimes godly Winton (session chair Jim Mora commented that “the hand of God is in your work” — and it is, that Christian mysticism, and it’s always been an element in Winton’s writing that’s unsettling for me as a ...
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‘Loss and Love’ at 2015 Auckland Writers Festival

April 5, 2015

Tracy Farr

I’m looking forward to heading up to Auckland next month for Auckland Writers Festival. This’ll be my third time heading up to Auckland for the writers festival (I wrote about the 2014 festival here and here), but my first time on the programme. The festival has got bigger and better each year that I’ve been, with lots of sold out sessions, enthusiastic audiences, and a really great buzz-y atmosphere. I’m in one of the Four for Fifty Readings sessions — fifty-minute events in which four writers read from their recent work. Each session is themed; ours is Loss and Love. I’ll be ...
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The hissing swan in the manuscript drawer

April 2, 2015

Tracy Farr

I spent the first two weeks of March at Varuna, the Writers House in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains, a two-hour train ride from Sydney. I was lucky enough during my Second Book Residential Fellowship to work in Eleanor Dark’s garden studio, a short enough walk from the back door of the main house that I didn’t spill my tea on the way. Writers who work in the studio are invited to leave a few pages of their work in one of the manuscript drawers that line one wall of the room, in a bank of some twenty separate drawers. I left my few pages ...
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Under the pohutakawa

February 26, 2015

Tracy Farr

Lately I’ve been keeping a low profile, online and in real life. On 1 January this year I officially became a full-time writer — if only for six months — thanks to a CreativeNZ grant. In November last year, when I was looking ahead, imagining this time, I wrote about being hunched at my writing desk for six months But it’s been a perfect summer so far here in Wellington — the warmest, driest, least windy summer since 1962, apparently — so instead of hunching over my desk, I’ve spent most of these first two months under the pōhutakawa tree in our back yard, ...
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Dream a little dream of me (or, 2014)

January 5, 2015

Tracy Farr

2014 was a year that saw quite a few long-held dreams come true, for me, so I hope I can be forgiven a trumpetblowing review of the year’s highlights. I give you: some dreams and their fulfilment (plus some other writing highlights). Being invited to a writers festival I’ve sat in the dark in the audience for so many years, wondering if I’d ever make it onto the stage, and that happened in 2014 at three festivals (Perth in February; New Zealand Festival in Wellington, March; WORD Christchurch in August) in two countries. It was as much fun as I’d ever imagined. Having my novel long- or shortlisted for ...
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‘Once had me’ wins short story award

December 4, 2014

Tracy Farr

Last week, I won the 2014 Sunday Star-Times Short Story Award for my story ‘Once had me’. The story was published in the Sunday Star-Times over the weekend. The SS-T Short Story Award, now in its 30th year, has been won by some of New Zealand’s best (and my favourite) writers — including Sarah Quigley, Eleanor Catton, Sarah Laing, Barbara Anderson — and is a great annual showcase for New Zealand short fiction. The award’s open category was judged this year by Sarah Quigley, a writer I’ve long admired. It was a strange and wonderful experience at the award event on ...
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A six-month hunch: CreativeNZ Arts Grant funding

November 29, 2014

Tracy Farr

It’s taken me a week to post this, a week in which “t”s have been being crossed, and “i”s dotted (aka six months leave from the day job negotiated). I’ve been awarded an Arts Grant (Literature) by Creative New Zealand. The grant will fund me to write full-time for the first six months of 2015. What a thrill; what an opportunity: what a relief. You’ll find me hunched at my writing desk for six months from 1 January 2015. I’m hoping that six-month hunch will see me re-draft and finish The Hope Fault, the novel I’ve been working on this year. Can I hear a rousing cheer ...
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Awarded Varuna Second Book Fellowship for 2015

November 11, 2014

Tracy Farr

I’ve been awarded one of four two-week Varuna Second Book Fellowships to work on my second novel, The Hope Fault. I’ve been working on the first draft of the novel this year — there are some loose links and hints to it in my blog post from my residency at NZ Pacific Studio earlier this year, and I talked about it a little (and about how important residencies are for me, as a ‘binge writer’) in this article in CAPITAL magazine last month. At its heart, the new novel is a contemporary story of a complicated extended family, set on a long ...
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Lena on the wireless – The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt broadcast on RNZ

October 29, 2014

Tracy Farr

Radio New Zealand’s drama department has, over the last six months, adapted and produced The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt for radio broadcast, and Lena’s now got a start date: she hits the airwaves on 29 October 2014. Adapted by the wonderful Anna Rogers, and produced in twelve episodes,The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt will be The Reading on Radio New Zealand’s Nine to Noon programme, weekdays at 10.45am NZ time. Details will be posted on the RadioNZ website, including an introduction, pictures and links to other information. Each episode will be posted on the website the day it’s ...
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