Strange Beautiful Excitement: Katherine Mansfields Wellington 1888-1903
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.
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