Strange Beautiful Excitement: Katherine Mansfield’s Wellington 1888-1903

Yska, Redmer


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How does a city make a writer? Described by Fiona Kidman as a ravishing, immersing read, A Strange Beautiful Excitement is a wild ride through the Wellington of Katherine Mansfields childhood. From the grubby, wind-blasted streets of Thorndon to the hushed green valley of Karori, author Redmer Yska, himself raised in Karori, retraces Mansfields old ground: the sights, sounds and smells of the rickety colonial capital, as experienced by the budding writer. Along the way his encounters and dogged research — into her Beauchamp ancestry, the social landscape, the festering, deadly surroundings — lead him (and us) to reevaluate long-held conclusions about the writers shaping years. They also lead to a thrilling discovery. This haunting and beautifully vivid book combines fact and fiction, biography and memoir, as Yska rediscovers Mansfields Wellington, unearthing her childhood as he goes, shining a new lamp on old territory.

Review: \”Its not enough to say I immensely enjoyed A Strange Beautiful Excitement … its simply splendid.\” — Dame Fiona Kidman \”… the best account I have ever read of Wellington and Karori as they were in Mansfields day … Vivid and vigorous, it is a pleasure to read.\” — Kathleen Jones, KM biographer

Format: Hardback
Pages: 296
Imprint: Otago University Press
Publication date: 14/07/2017

ISBN: 9780947522544 Category: