Saturday, March 28, 2009

Tributes and tears

Last night saw one of those poignant moments in life when we celebrated the launch of Dianne Pettis's new novel The First Touch of Light. A large group of Dianne's family and friends gathered at the Hocken Library to mark the occasion. It is almost a year since Dianne's death, so as one of the speakers said, it was a kind of unveiling. It did seem strange to launch a book upon the world without the author present, but it was a celebration that everyone was certain Dianne would have been thrilled with.

Geoff Walker, Publishing Director of Penguin New Zealand was Master of Ceremonies, and the book, and their experiences and memories of Dianne were discussed by Emeritus Professor Lawrence Jones, and her close friend and fellow writer Fiona Farrell. It was an emotional moment when Dianne's daughter Tess read a brief passage from the book.

It was a lovely evening of fond memories and a celebration of the work of a wonderful writer.

I can't wait to read the book. In the meantime here is the link to Mary McCallum's review of the book for Radio New Zealand's nine to noon programme.


Mary McCallum said...

Thanks so much for this post, Vanda. I wish I could have been there - but being able to read about it on your blog was the next best thing. Dianne deserved a good launch for this excellent book and as a tribute to a wonderful writer and person. How terrible it is to think we'll see no more of her in print. Such a loss.

Vanda Symon said...

It was a lovely celebration of Dianne and her work, but, there will always be that underlying sadness of the loss of a wonderful person and her talent.