Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Into the Wider World

T'is the season of book launches, or it feels like it in Dunedin. Perhaps it's the southern air that is making writers down this end of the country so productive.

Last night it was a warm, bustly and convivial celebration of Brian Turner's latest Into the Wider World: A Back Country Miscellany. The Fortune Theatre played host so even the act of entering their gorgeous premises felt special.

There were plenty of well known faces, and a good number of people who looked like they'd just popped in after a spot of fishing. Certainly an eclectic gathering, but one with a universal affection and respect for Brian.

As well as spinning a great yarn on the page, Brian enjoys telling a good story once he gets going and we enjoyed several anecdotes from him and his friends, and readings from Into the Wider World.

I thought it lovely that Brian's mum was there, and he commented about her often.

There were reproductions of essays from Into the Wider World in the weekend's Otago Daily Times and The Sunday Star-Times, which whet my appetite, and I couldn't wait to purchase my copy and line up to get it autographed by the man himself (so groupie, I know). I hadn't met Brian before so was delighted when I asked for him to write "to Vanda" he said, oh, you're the crime writer that was standing by my Leith last weekend.

Into the Wider World contains Brian's thoughts on everything from fly-fishing to environmental issues to wasting time. Of course, it has a scattering of poems too. The book itself is a stunning production, beautifully designed. It is full of photographs by Grahame Sydney and Gilbert van Reenen which capture the beauty of the back country as well as plenty of pics from fishing expeditions.

So Brian's little book about fishing has expanded into something so much more and I can't wait for the opportunity to sit down somewhere cosy and while away some time reading it.

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