Author(s): Kirsty Gunn
For London-based writer Kirsty Gunn, returning to the city of her birth to spend a winter in a tiny colonial cottage in Thorndon is an exciting opportunity to walk the very streets and hills that Katherine Mansfield left behind on her departure from New Zealand, but later longed to revisit. In this exquisitely written 'notebook' ('My Katherine Mansfield Project'), Gunn explores the meaning of 'home', both for herself, returning to Wellington after an absence of thirty years, and for Mansfield, whose emotional attachment to the city and her geographically distant family remained a potent imaginative force, spurring some of her finest - and final - work. For Mansfield, Gunn writes, 'home was an instant "go-to" zone for invention and narrative and characterisation and setting'. For Gunn, home is now two places - 'Here and there the same place after all.'
Kirsty Gunn is an award-winning author. Her most recent book The Big Music was listed for the James Tait Black and IMPAC awards and won The New Zealand Post Book of the Year 2013. She has a Chair in Creative Writing at the University of Dundee where she created and directs the programme of Writing Study and Practice. Her new collection of short stories Infidelities is to be published by Faber later this year.