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About the book
  • Published: 1 December 2012
  • ISBN: 9781775530312
  • Imprint: Random House New Zealand
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 220

Paddy's Puzzle


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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.’

  • Pub date: 1 December 2012
  • ISBN: 9781775530312
  • Imprint: Random House New Zealand
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 220

About the Author

Fiona Kidman



Dame Fiona Kidman is one of New Zealand's most celebrated writers. Winner of numerous awards and fellowships for literature including a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honour, Dame Fiona is renowned as one of New Zealand's foremost storytellers, having written over 30 books, including novels, short stories and poetry, and more than 60 television, film and radio scripts. She was created a Dame (DNZM) in 1998 in recognition of her contribution to literature.

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