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Superb writing from a fiercely intelligent writer in the vanguard of New Zealand literature.

Riffing on truth, lies and secrets, this collection uses fiction to explore fact, and fact to explore fiction.

Fictional characters muse upon the truth behind real people, non-fiction pieces contain short interludes of fiction, fiction is written to read like an essay, made-up elements slip into true accounts. These pieces range the world – from America, to Antwerp to Aotearoa – and talk about writers and writing, famous figures, family members, witch-burning in Denmark, cyclones and numerous pertinent and stimulating topics. All brilliantly written, each will leave you thinking and desperate to jump back in for more.

Reviews

Have I given the impression that this is a varied and interesting collection? I hope so. Of course, there are changes of tone, given that fiction is never quite the same as non-fiction and given that most of the contents first appeared in publications aimed at different audiences. But the sharp intelligence of the author, the skill in handling different genres, the factual research, the attention to telling detail and - yes - the tender regard for forebears are all here, and all make this a wonderful read.

Nicholas Reid, Weekend Press

A thread runs through Paula Morris' new collection of terse stories and interrogating essays False River - a strong current, if you like. Some of the pieces, as an author's warning note makes clear, began life as fiction but have since morphed into essays, while other essays have been published in the past as fiction. . . . clear-eyed, undaunted, strong. . . . Morris examines the stories we tell ourselves as a balm - a palliative bandage for raw wounds.

James Robins, Weekend Herald

This is an invigorating, sophisticated selection from a writer at the top of her form.

Paul Little, North and South

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Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9780143771630

    October 30, 2017

    Penguin

    RRP $35.00

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
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    Or

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

Article
Short Story Club - 23 November

Read the story being discussed on Jesse Mulligan’s show on Radio New Zealand on 23 November 2017

Also by Paula Morris

New Zealand Girl: Hene and the Burning Harbour
Rangatira
Forbidden Cities
Hibiscus Coast
Trendy But Casual
Queen of Beauty

Recommendations

The Rub of Time
Home and Away
Bit Rot
Quicksand
Late Essays
Dear Friend, From My Life I Write To You In Your Life
Flaneuse
Moranifesto
Being There
On Passion
On Doubt
When the Facts Change
Meanjin Vol 76 No 4
There It Is Again
Chronicles of a Liquid Society
Animals Strike Curious Poses
Winter
Meanjin Vol 76 No 2
The World-Ending Fire
The A to Z of Modern Manners