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  • Published: 16 June 2021
  • ISBN: 9780143774839
  • Imprint: RHNZ Vintage
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $36.00

The Author's Cut

Short Stories




A new selection of absorbing stories from a long and distinguished career.

Chosen by the author from his thirteen previous collections, this latest selection of stories includes 'Coming Home in the Dark', the inspiration for a new feature film.

Owen Marshall is regarded as one of our finest living writers. His stories capture the imagination and refuse to let go. From dark to funny, acerbic to warm, they probe our national psyche with clear-eyed insight. This selection from a long career ranges across New Zealand and ventures overseas; the pieces explore both cruelty and love; they look back to childhood and also capture the world we live in today. Full of unexpected turns, lyrical writing, wry observations and intriguing plots, this sampling offers a provocative take on New Zealand.

`I very much envy his ability to lay things down in such a way that each one has its natural weight and place, without any straining and heaving.' - Maurice Gee, Sport

'Owen Marshall has established himself as one of the masters of the short story' - Livres Hebdo, Paris

  • Published: 16 June 2021
  • ISBN: 9780143774839
  • Imprint: RHNZ Vintage
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $36.00

About the author

Owen Marshall

Owen Marshall, described by Vincent O’Sullivan as ‘New Zealand’s best prose writer’, is an award-winning novelist, short-story writer, poet and anthologist, who has written or edited more than 30 books, including the bestselling novel The Larnachs. Numerous awards for his fiction include the New Zealand Literary Fund Scholarship in Letters, fellowships at Otago and Canterbury universities, and the Katherine Mansfield Memorial Fellowship in Menton, France. In 2000 he became an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to literature; in 2012 was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM); and in 2013 he received the Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement in Fiction. In 2000 his novel Harlequin Rex won the Montana New Zealand Book Awards Deutz Medal for Fiction. Many of his other books have been shortlisted for major awards, and his work has been extensively anthologised.

In addition, in 2003 he was the inaugural recipient of the Creative New Zealand Writers’ Fellowship, and was the 2009/10 Antarctica New Zealand Arts Fellow. In 2006 he was invited by the French Centre National du Livre to participate in their Les Belles Etranges festival and subsequent tour, anthology and documentary. He was the President of Honour of the New Zealand Society of Authors 2007–08 and delivered the 2010 Frank Sargeson Memorial Lecture.

He was a school teacher for many years, having graduated with an MA (Hons) from the University of Canterbury, which in 2002 awarded him the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters, and in 2005 appointed him an adjunct professor.

See more at www.owenmarshall.net.nz.

Many leading contemporary writers have counted themselves amongst his admirers, including Janet Frame and Fiona Kidman, who wrote of his work, ‘I find myself exclaiming over and again with delight at the precision, the beauty, the near perfection of his writing.’ Writer, historian and literary biographer Michael King wrote of Marshall, ‘Quite simply the most able and the most successful exponent of the short story currently writing in New Zealand.’ In World Literature Today, Carolyn Bliss described Marshall as a writer who ‘speaks with equal intensity to the unbearable loveliness and malevolence of life’. Writer and academic Vincent O’Sullivan has claimed ‘nobody tells our [New Zealand] stories better’.

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Praise for The Author's Cut

Between novels, I’m biting my way through Owen Marshall?’s short story collection, The Author’s Cut. I think Marshall is one of New Zealand’s best living writers and the opening story – a murder set in the Mackenzie region – is the basis for a new Hollywood film. It is terrific and gives me chills whenever I drive down the state highway featured in the story.

Renee Rowland, Stuff

Yet (as Mandrake would say) I can’t recall such a strong reaction to a piece of fiction. Marshall can really deliver a punch. For many readers, and for those who’ve admired 'Coming Home in the Dark' and made a successful movie out of it, that’s a powerful recommendation in itself. There are 20 stories, chosen by Marshall from his 13 previous works, and the most striking feature of the collection is its extraordinary range of tone. The explosive opener is followed by benign character studies, warm and often comic depictions of ordinary people and their complex relationships. . . . From human kindness to powerful nastiness, from beauty to dreariness, there’s a whole lot packed into this collection. 'Coming Home in the Dark' is a lively and rich read. Don’t fly into a rage and drop the book, don’t storm away from the Volvo. Keep reading.

Charlotte Grimshaw, newsroom.co.nz

It opens with the terrifying Coming Home in the Dark . . . there are 19 other short stories in this outstanding collection. Savour each one and its unique portrayal of life, love, childhood, twists and turns, unusual plots and humour. Each is a treasure. Marshall is a superbly skilled writer. Most stories are based in New Zealand. Some are funny and some dark and scary.

Linda Thompson, Katikati Advertiser

Assembled here are 20 stories chosen by the author from his 13 previous collections, dating back to the first in 1979. And what a wealth of treasures he has had from which to make his selection. The range is enormous and extraordinary, from domestic black comedy to post-modern satire and much else in between . . . It could be said that the world is divided between those who adore Owen Marshall's writing and those who haven't yet been exposed to it. There will be no argument that he is now at that stage of his career which requires any mention of his name to be prefixed with the adjective "beloved", and deservedly so.

Paul Little, North & South

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