I am told there are people who do not care for maps, and I find it hard to believe.
— Robert Louis Stevenson
I’m like RL Stevenson in that respect. I love a map. Maps, diagrams and geological bulletins (one bulletin in particular) caught my imagination and took over the reins while I was writing my novel The Hope Fault, and the geologist-poet character Zigmund (Zigi) Silbermann in my novel was inspired in part by the real-life geologist Raphael (Rafi) Freund.
So I’m thrilled to be doing a lunchtime event at National Library in Wellington, aligned with their beautiful and informative exhibition Unfolding the Map: the cartography of New Zealand, discussing some of the inspiration, ideas, maps and geology behind my novel The Hope Fault.
Even better, I’ll be discussing my novel with geologist and writer Simon Nathan. About this time last year, while I was working on final revisions ahead of publication of The Hope Fault, I contacted Simon, hoping to check some geological details. I was delighted to discover that Simon had met geologist Rafi Freund, back in the late 60s when Freund was in New Zealand to map the Hope Fault (and Simon was a fresh-faced young student at University of Canterbury).
I hope you can join Simon and me at lunchtime on Tuesday 9 May for a discussion about mapping family and faultlines through fiction. Details below.
Simon Nathan is a geologist and science historian. Much of his career has been at GNS Science, where he is now an emeritus scientist. He has been science editor for Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. His most recent books are James Hector: Explorer, scientist, leader (2015) (listen to Simon talking with RNZ’s Kim Hill about James Hector), and Through the Eyes of a Miner: The Photography of Joseph Divis (2016) (read this lovely review by Steve Braunias on The Spinoff).
The Hope Fault: mapping family and faultlines through fiction
Tracy Farr’s latest novel, The Hope Fault, draws imaginatively on geological metaphors. The title is a real feature which you can see in the Unfolding the Map exhibition at National Library. The book explores the faultlines that run under the surface of human relationships, and it’s also about uncertainty – the unsettling idea that the earth might shift, literally or metaphorically, at any time. The Hope Fault is a novel that – like its author – finds poetry and beauty in science, and pattern in landscape.
In this event, novelist Tracy Farr discusses the ideas and inspiration behind her writing with geologist Simon Nathan.
When: Tuesday 9 May 2017, 12.10 to 1.00pm
Where: Te Ahumairangi (ground floor), National Library, corner Molesworth and Aitken Streets, Wellington
- Simon Nathan’s books on James Hector and the photography of Joseph Divis are available from Potton and Burton, if not at your local bookstore.
- Visit the exhibition Unfolding the Map: the cartography of New Zealand at National Library in Wellington, or browse the exhibition’s online material.
- Follow National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa on Twitter (@NLNZ) or Facebook (@NationalLibraryNZ), or check their events calendar to see what’s on.
- Find out more about notes, resources and references for The Hope Fault.