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  • Published: 1 July 2012
  • ISBN: 9781869798734
  • Imprint: RHNZ Adult ebooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 226

True Stars



'It's intelligent, exciting, very well written and a good read.' - Sunday Star

Who is trying to scare Rose? This gripping novel is a vivid portrayal of New Zealand in the 1980s.

Rose Kendall is alone. She is isolated from her children, her friends, and her political ideals, and there is someone trying to scare her - she doesn't know why and she doesn't know who.

True Stars shows the tensions and divisions in 1980s New Zealand, which were echoed both on a national level and in family relationships, which were crystallised by the 1981 Springbok Tour, and which gnaw at differences in race, gender, class - and politics. It is a savage and often humorous novel set during the last months of the Lange Government.

'With True Stars, Fiona Kidman has become the foremost chronicler of our times.' - Roger Hall, The Dominion

  • Published: 1 July 2012
  • ISBN: 9781869798734
  • Imprint: RHNZ Adult ebooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 226

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

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Praise for True Stars

All in all, True Stars is heady stuff, and moreover, a symbol of that rarest form of narrative written in New Zealand before or since, the political novel. Such rarity, particularly concerning such a radical era and its political leaders, continues to surprise this writer. To look back at the Fourth Labour Government, the purity of its dogma, the innate contradictions of its convictions, its near-mythical high command, and find that few of our writers have considered the social, governmental and financial melting pot that Lange and his offsiders created, wittingly or otherwise, a subject worthy of their work perplexes. We need more books like True Stars written in New Zealand. Brave books by writers brave enough to deconstruct the social and political mores and dilemmas of their times and leaders. In this we need to value True Stars much more than we have hitherto done.

Siobhan Harvey, reidsreader.blogspot.co.nz

True Stars is a passionate novel about political corruption, New Zealand-style.

Colleen Reilly, Landfall 175

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