Kirsty Powell

Meet our May Author: Kirsty Powell

When: Tuesday 31 May, 7.00 – 8.00pm
Where: Online – click the Zoom link below.
Join us to meet the fantastic Kirsty Powell at an online shared reading event at the end of the month! Kirsty will read from her work and we will all have an opportunity to reflect and respond together as we go along.

Author bio

Kirsty Powell grew up east of Eketahuna in an isolated rural community and loves to write strong New Zealand characters into her fiction. She has published short stories, poems and her debut novel The Strength of Eggshells. She is currently working on a sequel which revisits Kate, Ursula and their daughter Ariel 20 years hence.

Kirsty lives in rural South Auckland and spends her spare time helping to solve the erosion and marine plastic problems on the Awhitu West Coast. She also likes to get away to various parts of the world on a motorbike or a bicycle.

For her debut novel, The Strength of Eggshells, Kiwi writer Kirsty Powell interviewed the descendants of the families of the WW1 settlers in the Mangapurua Valley above the Bridge to Nowhere. She was inspired by their stories of community spirit and resilience in the face of the rawness of their lives.


The Strength of Eggshells

The Strength of Eggshells follows Kate, the third-generation descendent of one of those pioneering women, as she searches for answers in her past that can give her life meaning.

Kiwi author Tina Shaw, a member of the Academy of NZ Literature Te Whare Mātātuhi o Aotearoa, says: “The powerful tug of history, the search for identity, an unresolved present, dark ghosts in the past … This is a marvellous New Zealand novel.”

The Strength of Eggshells explores the lives of strong rural New Zealanders, set against the fragile isolation of a farm upbringing, two world wars and a landscape that is slipping beyond belief.



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2 Responses

  1. Thank you so much to Kirsty for last night! What a fantastic time we had! Our readers have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and exploring these fascinating characters! It was cool to see some of our group members at the Zoom too. We all connected to different parts of the NZ landscape that were described so beautifully in the story. Some of the personal stories our group has this month have included, family in the Mangapurua valley, meeting a nun as a child and getting a perfect apple from their orchard, the bridge to nowhere, visiting Kingseat hospital , attending country dances, flour sacks being made with floral patterns during wartime so women could sew cuter dresses from them, and… the naked male statue up at Albert Park… Apparently there were complaints because when it rained the penis dripped!!! : )

  2. Actually, I am interested in this story and thought it would be a good read to learn something about New Zealand. So I am reading the whole story.

    The structure of this book is not chronological order, but the stories of three generations are told in parallel, just like the movie GodFather part II. Very different lives of two generations, one is upbound and the other is downbound are told in parallel in that movie. I just wonder what is the aim of the author of this story to not tell in chronological order from Meredith, Jane to Kate. Is it to give Kate the reason to explore her family history unknown to readers?

    From chapter five (Kate), readers learn how Meredith ended up. With that knowledge, the chapter Seven (Meredith) of which we did shared reading in the art space was not just a beautiful description of rural and old New Zealand. I mean, the story we shared looks differently.

    I am really enjoying this superb story.

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