> Skip to content
  • Published: 1 December 2012
  • ISBN: 9781775530312
  • Imprint: RHNZ Adult ebooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 220
Categories:

Paddy's Puzzle



Shortlisted for the New Zealand Book Awards.

An internationally acclaimed novel, the Kirkus Reviews wrote, ‘Shrewdly balanced between earthy tenderness and the dreadful trauma of disillusionment: a grave yet limber narrative - and a very welcome import.’

In a strange old building referred to as Paddy's Puzzle, Clara Bentley endures the fears of wartime and awaits the arrival of her lover, Ambrose. He's an American Marine. And he's black. Having grown up in suburban Hamilton, her move to Auckland marks an escape from the dreariness and restrictions of her childhood. In this building, full of an odd assortment of people, she waits, not just for Ambrose, but for the air-raid siren, for the culmination of her illness and for the sister to whom she dreads having to explain her new life in the Puzzle.

The novel was shortlisted for the New Zealand Book Awards. The San Francisco Chronicle commented: ‘The supple flow of Kidman’s language is a pleasure to read. She’s particularly alive to the sudden swelling of emotion just below the surface of a carefully worded conversation. And she tosses off startlingly true images in the most offhand manner.’

  • Published: 1 December 2012
  • ISBN: 9781775530312
  • Imprint: RHNZ Adult ebooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 220
Categories:

About the author

Fiona Kidman

Fiona Kidman has published over 30 books, including novels, poetry, non-fiction and a play. She has worked as a librarian, radio producer and critic, and as a scriptwriter for radio, television and film. The New Zealand Listener wrote: ‘In her craft and her storytelling and in her compassionate gutsy tough expression of female experience, she is the best we have.’

She has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships; in more recent years, The Captive Wife was runner-up for the Deutz Medal for Fiction and was joint-winner of the Readers’ Choice Award in the 2006 Montana New Zealand Book Awards, and her short story collection The Trouble with Fire was shortlisted for both the NZ Post Book Awards and the Frank O’Connor Short Story Award. Her novel This Mortal Boy won the 2019 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize, the NZ Booklovers Award, the NZSA Heritage Book Award for Fiction and the Ngaio Marsh Crime Writing Award for Best Novel.

She was created a Dame (DNZM) in 1998 in recognition of her contribution to literature, and more recently a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honour. ‘We cannot talk about writing in New Zealand without acknowledging her,’ wrote New Zealand Books. ‘Kidman’s accessible prose and the way she shows (mainly) women grappling to escape from restricting social pressures has guaranteed her a permanent place in our fiction.’

Also by Fiona Kidman

See all

Related titles