the greatest thing in the world

(Book cover spotted in an op-shop.)

Auckland writer and academic JACK ROSS reviewed my book (and Aleksandra Lane’s) for the Landfall Review Online. You can read it HERE.

I actually cried a little bit when I read this review….of happiness, I hasten to add. Because I’m published with a small press, I had steeled myself for the possibility that I might not get any reviews – as there are so many good books up for review and so few outlets for review-writing. To get reviewed on Landfall Review Online is amazing…and then to have it be such a considered, positive review feels like the greatest thing in the world!

It is a terrifying moment when you first read a review of your work – I feel a bit nauseous, I sort of squint at the screen as I read…bracing myself for the worst…and there is definitely that ‘wearing your undies in public’ feeling of having something of myself examined and evaluated by someone I don’t know. It’s a very weird feeling.

I’m especially grateful to Jack Ross for acknowledging that I have a long publishing history prior to my book coming out and that I’ve been working away at this writing lark for a very long time. When you publish your first book, people often say things assuming you have popped up out of nowhere and the book was written recently. The Comforter took me OVER A DECADE to write…because I had children in that decade and because I kept working and needling, editing and fidgeting, waiting for my work to be as ‘perfect’ as the vision in my head….eventually I grew weary of all the fiddling and opted for ‘good enough’. (Also, to be really honest, when I started writing poetry at university I assumed my first book would be published before I was 30…when that didn’t happen and suddenly I was in danger of hitting 40 without a book to my name, well, that rather put a fire under me. I squeaked in….I turn 40 this September. Whew. I’m determined the next book won’t take a decade!)

Anyway, this review means so much to me…and I am very very extremely very grateful. Thanks, Jack Ross.

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4 thoughts on “the greatest thing in the world

  1. I hasten to say (in case it isn’t obvious), that the fact that I’m Bronwyn’s husband and that she’s a fan of your work had nothing to do with my judgement of your book, which worked away at me gradually over quite a time before I felt I was starting to understand it … Thanks very much for this post, though.

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