A fictional companion to The Villa at the Edge of the Empire and winner of the 2017 NZ Heritage Novel Award.
Fiona Farrell is one of New Zealand's leading writers,
publishing work in a variety of genres. Her first novel, The
Skinny Louie Book, won the 1993 New Zealand Book Award for
fiction. Other novels, poetry and non-fiction books have been
shortlisted for the Montana and New Zealand Post Book Awards with
four novels also nominated for the International Dublin IMPAC
Award. Farrell's short fiction has appeared in the company of Alice
Munro and Hanif Kureishi in two volumes of Heinemann's Best
Short Stories (ed. Gordon and Hughes), while her poems feature
in major anthologies including The Oxford Book of New Zealand
Poetry and Bloodaxe's best-selling Being Alive. Her play
Chook Chook is one of Playmarket New Zealand's most
frequently requested scripts. Farrell lives with her partner on
Banks Peninsula and since 2011 she has published three non-fiction
titles relating to the Christchurch earthquakes- The Broken
Book, The Quake Year and in 2015, The Villa At the Edge of
the Empire, the factual half of a two-volume work examining the
rebuilding of a city through the twinned lenses of non-fiction and
Fiona Farrell is a frequent guest at festivals in New Zealand, and has also appeared at the Edinburgh International Book Festival and the Vancouver International Writers' Festival. Fiona received an Arts Council Scholarship in Letters in 1991, and has held residencies in France (1995 Katherine Mansfield Fellowship to Menton) and Ireland (2006 Rathcoola Residency). Fiona was the 2011 Robert Burns Fellow at the University of Otago. In 2007 Fiona Farrell received the New Zealand Prime Minister's Award for Fiction. She was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for 'services to literature' in the Queen's Birthday and Diamond Jubilee Honours List 2012 and in 2013 Fiona was awarded the Michael King Writers Fellowship.
In his New Zealand Herald review of Limestone, David Hill said that Farrell 'writes richly, sensuously. She adds things in, rather than leaving things out . . . the plot is springy and inventive, characters are engaging (or engagingly repellent), language is witty, chatty, and flecked with that characteristic Fiona Farrell subversive mischief.' The Sunday Star Times wrote of Book Book- 'There's something quotable on every page . . . a deeply pleasurable, one-of-its-kind masterpiece.'
Beryl Fletcher, in the Waikato Times, praised Farrell for having '. . . the rare ability of turning the mundane events of domestic life into profound human experiences. Her writing is poetic, moving and literary.'