Author(s): Owen Marshall
A generous selection from New Zealand's foremost writer of short stories. Peter Simpson in reviewing Owen Marshall's stories in the New Zealand Listener wrote: 'Marshall is held in uncommon affection by New Zealand readers - generally we admire and respect rather than love our writers.' This love is perhaps evoked not just by the superb quality of Marshall's writing but because his stories so precisely capture his fellow New Zealanders and their country. From the provinces to the cities, the remote landscapes to journeying overseas, Marshall's stories show a deep understanding of who and where we are. Sometimes he skewers the locals with sharp and sly comedy, in other stories there's an elegiac sadness or a grim reality, but always an insightful exploration of human emotions. From the substantial body of work created over the last thirty years, critic, writer and academic Vincent O'Sullivan has selected sixty stories that give a wide representation of Marshall's range. He once wrote that short stories should aspire to a combination of 'intransigence and poetry', both of which are evident in this fine selection. 'Marshall is a writer who speaks with equal intensity to the unbearable loveliness and malevolence of life.' - Carolyn Bliss, World Literature Today
Novelist, short-story writer and poet, Owen Marshall has written or edited twenty-three books to date. Awards for his fiction include the New Zealand Literary Fund Scholarship in Letters, fellowships at Otago and Canterbury universities and the Katherine Mansfield Memorial Fellowship in Menton, France. In 2000 he received the ONZM for services to literature and his novel Harlequin Rex won the Montana New Zealand Book Awards Deutz Medal for Fiction. In 2002 the University of Canterbury awarded him the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters, and in 2005 appointed him an adjunct professor. Born in 1941, Owen Marshall has spent almost all his life in South Island towns, and has an affinity with provincial New Zealand.