Julian Novitz, Michael Robotham, Ben Sanders and Paul Cleave
According to W.H. Auden, detective stories – and thrillers, he would surely have added – have nothing to do with works of art. And as blogger Dorothy James has pointed out, Dan Kavanagh, Julian Barnes’ crime writing alter ago, would never be shortlisted for, let alone win, the Man Booker Prize. So why are these literary distinctions made, between crime and thrillers, and so-called ‘literary fiction’? Are books that turn on a mystery, even when brilliantly written, victims of their genre? Is Julian Barnes right to say that life is not a detective story? Acclaimed crime writers Michael Robotham and Ben Sanders, and Julian Novitz, whose new novel revolves around a murder and a mystery, talk about the attraction of evil and the perils of genre fiction.
Christchurch-born Julian Novitz won the Bank of New Zealand Katherine Mansfield Award for short fiction in 2008, and held the Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship in
2009. His absorbing new novel, Little Sister, is about absent fathers, identity and motivation.
Australian Michael Robotham spent 14 years as an international journalist before becoming a ghostwriter in 1993. His first novel, The Suspect, was chosen as only the
fifth International Book of the Month. His second, Lost, won the Ned Kelly Award in 2005; Shatter did the same in 2008. Say You’re Sorry was published this year.
Ben Sanders has been a keen writer since his early teens and his debut novel, The Fallen, was published to high acclaim in 2010, as was By Any Means, which appeared in 2011 and spent some weeks on the bestseller list. His next novel, Only the Dead, will be published in November.
Paul Cleave lives in his home city of Christchurch, where all his novels are set. His books have become bestsellers, with The Cleaner being the top-selling crime/thriller title for 2007 on amazon.de in Germany. He has been shortlisted for the Australian Ned Kelly Awards for Crime Writing, and won the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel in 2010. Collecting Cooper is his fifth novel.
Chair: Crime fiction enthusiast and blogger Craig Sisterson is the deputy editor of NZ Lawyer and the organiser of the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel.
1 Sep 2012
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM