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A memoir - with recipes - from a well-loved writer with a unique and quirky take on life. Looking back over her varied life in a range of roles, including daughter, wife, mother, journalist and novelist, Shonagh Koea has collected a store of vivid memories that often centre on food. In these moving vignettes, she recalls her past, giving us a privileged insight into her life and into a New Zealand that no longer exists, along with delicious recipes and a strong sense of the gentle yet significant encounters we have with strangers and acquaintances. Much more than a straightforward memoir, this book is an astute and sometimes wry observation of social interaction, of New Zealand's recent history and of the place that food has in our everyday lives. It is also the intriguing story of a unique writer, of her life, her thoughts and her work.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781869419189
ISBN-10: 1869419189
Format: Paperback
(233mm x 160mm x 17mm)
Pages: 191
Imprint: Vintage New Zealand
Publisher: Random House New Zealand Ltd
Publish Date: 3-Aug-2007
Country of Publication: New Zealand

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Author Biography - Shonagh Koea

Shonagh Koea has published short stories, novels and memoir. North and South commented that 'Shonagh Koea has a command of prose, an originality of expression, a sophisticated wit and a richness of imagery, which makes her writing a delight.' She won the Air New Zealand Short Story Award (1981), her novel Sing to Me, Dreamer was a finalist in the New Zealand Book Awards (1995), and The Lonely Margins of the Sea was runner-up for the Deutz Medal for Fiction (1999). She has held the University of Auckland Fellowship in Literature (1993) and the Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship (1997). Koea's territory is 'the contrast between domestic misery and various forms of withdrawal or escape' (The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Literature), and she has been described 'as addictive as nicotine or coffee - with, perhaps, major withdrawal symptoms' (Nelson Evening Mail). Poet Alistair Paterson said of Staying Home and Being Rotten, 'This is not merely a good book, but a work of brilliance. It establishes Shonagh Koea as a leading New Zealand novelist and a writer of international significance.' The Kindness of Strangers: Kitchen Memoirs is a collection of Koea's memories from her various roles as daughter, wife, mother, journalist and novelist, and as such serves as a social history of New Zealand of the past 50 years. Reviewing it in The New Zealand Listener, Graeme Lay called it 'a truly delectable read'. The New Zealand Herald wrote: 'the ingredients in Shonagh Koea's writing - among them a delicate yet incisive wit, keen perception, irony, and an abundance of sensuous imagery - are good enough to stand alone. Still, the 25 plain and tasty very mid-century New Zealand recipes are skilfully interwoven with the episodic memories they give rise to, and slowly build up a fascinating portrait.'

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