Sat 24 Oct, 1.30pm
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Eamonn Marra and Lil O’Brien discuss the balance between comedy and tragedy in their debut books.
Guided by local writer Ro Cambridge, Eamonn Marra and Lil O’Brien will explore the relationship between tragedy and comedy, and how it is possible to engage readers in important stories by using humour.
2000ft Above Worry Level begins on the sad part of the internet and ends at the top of a cliff face. This episodic novel is piloted by a young, anhedonic, gentle, slightly disassociated man. He has no money. He has a supportive but disintegrating family. He is trying hard to be better. He is painting a never-ending fence. Eamonn Marra’s debut novel occupies the precarious spaces in which many twenty-somethings find themselves, forced as they are to live in the present moment as late capitalism presses in from all sides.
Lil O’Brien’s memoir, Not That I’d Kiss A Girl, is a heartbreaking and hilarious true story of coming out as gay in New Zealand. Lil accidentally outed herself to her parents at the age of 19 when they overheard her talking to a friend about liking girls. Half an hour later she found herself on the side of the road, with instructions to come back and pick up her suitcase the next day. What follows is a heartbreaking yet hugely funny story of a young Kiwi girl – the deputy head girl from a posh private school – coming to grips with her sexuality in the face of stark disapproval from her parents.
Photo credits: Ebony Lamb (left) and Troy Godall (right)