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Historical Fiction

Christine Leunens and Alexandra Tidswell
  • $

SUTER THEATRE

Sun 25 Oct, 1.30pm 
60 mins

PRICE $16
PLUS SERVICE FEE

Christine Leunens and Alexandra Tidswell discuss how they work with both research and imagination when creating characters from the past.

A New Zealand-Belgian novelist, Christine Leunens is the author of Caging Skies, which was adapted into Taika Waititi’s Oscar-winning film, Jojo Rabbit. She has also published two other novels, Primordial Soup, described by the Sunday Times as remarkable debut novel, and A Can of Sunshine, selected by the NZ Herald for Best Books of the Year 2013. As well as the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, Jojo Rabbit also won the BAFTA for Best Adapted Screenplay, as well as the Humanitas Prize for writing intended to promote human dignity, meaning and freedom 

Alexandra Tidswell is a seventh generation New Zealander who has always been interested in the stories of early New Zealand and how they have shaped our culture. Her first novel, Lewisville, was published in 2016 and is based on true events, inspired by the story of her great-great-greatgrandmother, Mary Anne Luxford, who had been born into poverty in Willoughby in the United Kingdom. She loves writing historical fiction because of its capacity to bring history alive through telling little stories that add up to make the bigger picture of who we are. She has an LLB and a BA in Māori from Otago University, and is a former diplomat with postings in New York and Washington DC 

In this session, both authors will reveal how they weave together research with imagination to create intriguing and authentic characters from the past. You will also get a glimpse into their current works in progress: Christine is currently finalising an upcoming historical novel and film script for the same story, set at the time of the Rainbow Warrior bombing, and Alexandra is writing a novel about a highwayman in Wellington in 1859. 

This session will be chaired by Kerry Sunderland. 

Christine Leunens

A New Zealand-Belgian novelist, Christine Leunens is the author of Caging Skies, as well as two other novels, Primordial Soup, described by the Sunday Times as remarkable debut novel, and A Can of Sunshine, selected by the NZ Herald for Best Books of the Year 2013. The French translation of Caging Skies was nominated for the Prix Médicis and the Prix FNAC, adapted by Desirée  Gezentsvey and directed by Andrew Foster at Circa Theatre in Wellington in 2017, and then adapted into a film, Jojo Rabbit, by Taika Waititi. Christine and Taika were both nominated for USC Libraries Scripter Award, honouring both the book and the screenplay, and both won AFI Awards for their “Contribution to America’s Cultural Legacy” in 2020. The film was nominated for 2 Golden Globes, 6 BAFTAs and 6 Academy Awards, and won both the BAFTA and the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, as well as the Humanitas Prize for writing intended to “promote human dignity, meaning and freedom”. Christine is currently finalising an upcoming historical novel set at the time of the Rainbow Warrior bombing.

Alexandra Tidswell

Alexandra Tidswell has an LLB and a BA in Māori from Otago University, and is a former diplomat with postings in New York and Washington DC. She’s a partner in Kia Māia Bicultural Communications, where she creates the bicultural training modules known as Te Rito. These online modules are used in many organisations to improve knowledge of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the history and effect of NZ’s colonisation, as well as the practical manifestations of tino rangatiratanga, tikanga and te reo Māori in Aotearoa today.

Alexandra lives in Nelson. She is currently writing a novel about a highwayman in Wellington in 1859, and enjoys running in the hills around Whakatū.

Venue

SUTER THEATRE
208 Bridge St
Nelson, New Zealand
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