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A Strange Beautiful Excitement: Katherine Mansfield's Wellington 1888-1903

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A Strange Beautiful Excitement

Katherine Mansfield's Wellington 1888-1903

By Redmer Yska

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Format: Hardback, 296 pages
Other Information: colour illus
Published In: New Zealand, 01 October 2017
How does a city make a writer? Described by Fiona Kidman as a ravishing, immersing read, A Strange Beautiful Excitement is a wild ride through the Wellington of Katherine Mansfields childhood. From the grubby, wind-blasted streets of Thorndon to the hushed green valley of Karori, author Redmer Yska, himself raised in Karori, retraces Mansfields old ground: the sights, sounds and smells of the rickety colonial capital, as experienced by the budding writer. Along the way his encounters and dogged research -- into her Beauchamp ancestry, the social landscape, the festering, deadly surroundings -- lead him (and us) to reevaluate long-held conclusions about the writers shaping years. They also lead to a thrilling discovery. This haunting and beautifully vivid book combines fact and fiction, biography and memoir, as Yska rediscovers Mansfields Wellington, unearthing her childhood as he goes, shining a new lamp on old territory.

Promotional Information

* Vivid, mesmerising, original * Hardback gift format * Foreword by Vincent O'Sullivan * 'Simply splendid' - Fiona Kidman

About the Author

Redmer Yska is a Wellington-born writer and historian. He has published books about postwar teenagers (bodgies and widgies), Dutch New Zealanders like himself, and a commissioned history of Wellington City. He was awarded the National Library Research Fellowship to write a history of NZ Truth, published in 2010. Yska was the major recipient of a New Zealand History Research Trust Fund Award in 2014, allowing him to write this book.


"Its not enough to say I immensely enjoyed A Strange Beautiful Excitement ... its simply splendid." -- Dame Fiona Kidman "... the best account I have ever read of Wellington and Karori as they were in Mansfields day ... Vivid and vigorous, it is a pleasure to read." -- Kathleen Jones, KM biographer

EAN: 9780947522544
ISBN: 0947522549
Publisher: Otago University Press
Dimensions: 20 x 15 centimetres (0.44 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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