Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Listen this Monday 10.45

The Blue is on radio starting this Monday. Go here to hear it as it goes to air and you can download it for your ipod, too, I'm sure. Just press the little headphones on the left of the Radio NZ web page.

It's on Radio NZ's National Programme every morning at 10.45 am from Monday 17 November until Friday 5 December which sounds epic to me. And one of those days I'm doing a book review in the usual 10.30 slot, so I can sit in the studio afterwards and hear it in glorious surround sound. How cool is that?
The Blue runs for 15 episodes and has been adapted by Frances Edmond into a play for three voices with Jane Waddell producing, and featuring Judith Gibson, Tim Gordon and Denise O'Connell. Which is terribly exciting and nerve-wracking all at once.

Here's the write-up:

Book Readings for week commencing Monday 17 November 2008
The Blue by Mary McCallum
The Blue is the wild windswept story of a small community of whaling families. It’s set on a remote Island in Tory Channel in 1938. It’s a tale of family disharmony, infidelity, teenage rage, death - loss – all blowing through the cracks of domesticity, the sewing, the chooks, the home schooling – like a bitter but barely mentioned southerly.
Published by Penguin
ISBN: 978 1 877361 99 9
Episode 1 of 15

The photo on this post is off the Radio NZ website showing a keen listener out in his kayak. It could be in Tory Channel even. It could even be The Friar madly updated, complete with his dog Smiler. Anything is possible.

And I read a short story today at the Massey Writers Read series mentioned in my last post. This is astonishing to me because I have never read a short story to an audience before, and because this particular story is, for me, an extravagant experiment with voice.

The main character is an older sexually-repressed male university lecturer and he's stuck in a stairwell with a female student.... I was very worried about how it would come across with a female reading but actor Michele Amas, who was also reading today, told me it was fine. She says a couple of sentences in - if you tell it right - people go with you. That's the confidence of an actor, I reckon. Some nice comments from a chap in the audience who believed in my male narrator, and from playwright Ken Duncum.

I did have Novel no. 2 with me to read from if I chickened out, but I told myself I was being ridiculous. The Stairwell (as it's called) was absolutely right for today as I wrote it between the two tutorials I taught at, it was triggered by an event at the university, fed by class discussions on 'voice', and is set at Massey!

It was a treat to be there, too, because I got to hear work in progress from Michele Amas, Ingrid Horrocks, Thom Conroy and Angie Farrow. The latter presented as a short play. All of it, terrific.


Vanda Symon said...

How cool, Mary, having The Blue on radio.

I shall listen in or catch the podcasts.

Joanne Ganley said...

Fantastic Mary. I'll be listening in too.

harvey molloy said...

I've just started reading The Blue, Mary: I am a slow reader. Before starting, I wasn't sure if it was going to be 'my kind of novel.' I started to read and was swept away by the very strong rhythms of your prose and your eye for detail. I knew then that I was going to enjoy the book and that I'd had the luck to meet and talk with an extremely talented writer. I'm enjoying the book a great deal--it's fantastic.

Mary McCallum said...

Dear Vanda and Joanne - thanks! Nice to know friends will be listening.

Harvey - I know you are a careful reader from what you say on your blog - so I am doubly delighted you are enjoying The Blue. 'Strong rhythms of your prose' is a lovely thing to hear from a poet. Thank you. said...

Mary - how wonderful for you and 'The Blue' and right before Xmas... hear those tills ringing.