New Zealand Embassy Berlin, Germany

Farewell for James McNeish at the New Zealand Residence

James McNeish (third from the right) with his wife Helen, Ambassador Peter Rider (third from the left), his wife Louise and Embassy staff

The Embassy recently hosted a literary evening to farewell James McNeish, who is concluding his year as New Zealand Writer in Residence in Berlin.

The Creative NZ Berlin Writers’ Residency is Creative NZ’s largest residency for writers, reflecting the value NZ attaches to a year’s experience in Berlin in contributing to the development of New Zealand arts.  The Residency enables a New Zealand writer to focus on a writing project over a sustained period, and provides professional development opportunities for the writer to build networks, take part in literary festivals, and give lectures and interviews.  Previous recipients have been Sarah Quigley, Tina Shaw, Kapka Kassabova, Philip Temple, Tim Corballis and Lloyd Jones.

This was James McNeish’s second such residency in Berlin.  In 1983 he was a writer in residence under the Berliner Kunstlerprogramm for the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD).  James used his time in Berlin then researching background for what became his famous novel "Lovelock", nominated for the Booker Prize in 1986.

At this event, James McNeish read excerpts from "Lovelock", as well as from his new novel, "The Crime of Huey Dunstan", which has just been released in New Zealand and Australia.

The Creative New Zealand Residency Programme is only one facet of the multi-dimensional relationship New Zealand has with the largest EU member state.  It helps foster academic cooperation, people-to-people links and greater mutual interest and understanding between our two countries.  The next Artist in Residence is visual artist Alicia Frankovich, who takes up her residency in September.

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