Author(s): Martin Edmond
Winner of the Biography Award at the 2005 Montana New Zealand Book Awards Chronicle of the Unsung mingles biography and autobiography in an unusual work, beautifully written and often powerful and moving.Four quite separate periods or episodes in author Martin Edmond's life are linked by a number of themes and are often the excuse for discussions of historical figures, typically on society's margins, or reflections on the nature of art and its relation to personal life. The sections are set in Europe, Australia, Fiji and New Zealand and one of the fascinations of the work is the skilful way in which Martin conveys the power, often sinister and disturbing, of the places in which he has lived and the impact the locations seem to have on his own personal life.The book thus becomes at one level an account of Martin's own development, of his process of self-discovery, and is another variant on the theme that has always interested him, the nature of the creative personality. The last section concerns a trip to a school reunion at Ohakune and deals with Martin's relations with his well-known family and especially his mother. First published 2004.
Winner of Montana New Zealand Book Awards: Biography Category 2005.
Martin Edmond was born in Ohakune, New Zealand, in 1952, the son of Lauris and Trevor Edmond, and grew up in small North Island towns. He studied Anthropology and English at The University of Auckland before graduating MA (1st Class Hons) in English from Victoria University of Wellington. After spending a year as a junior lecturer at Victoria University he joined the avant garde theatre group Red Mole and spent the next five years on tour as a writer, actor, stage manager and lighting designer. He moved to Australia in 1981, via London, New York and Los Angeles, to work in the film industry there. Martin has also worked as a taxi driver, proof reader, teacher of English as a second language and a lighting designer for rock bands until 1984, since when he has earned his living as a script writer. He has written three screenplays, which have been produced as awardwinning feature films: Illustrious Energy (1987), which won the Bronze Charybdis at the 1988 Taormina Film Festival and Best Film at the 1988 Hawaii Film Festival; The Footstep Man (1991), which won Official Selection at the 1992 San Sebastian Film Festival and the 1993 Fantasporto International Film Festival and technical awards at the NZ Film and Television Awards in 1993; and Terra Nova (1996). He has in development a screenplay for a feature film, The Ballad of Tui Lee: It is the story of a Vietnamese orphan, raised by nuns in Kuala Lumpur, who comes to Australia to meet her sponsor, unaware that he is serving a life sentence for murder. Martin also wrote the screenplay for the shorts Philosophy (1997), which won Official Selection at the 1990 Montreal FF Montreal World Film Festival, the 1999 Madrid Experimental Film Festival, the 1999 Bilbao Documentary Film Festival and the 1999 International Short Film Festival, Granada, and won a Gold Award from the Australian Cinematographers Society in 1999, and Earth Angel (2002), which won Best Screenplay at the 2003 Brekfest Festival in Sydney. Martin's books include Streets of Music (1980; with pictures by Joseph Bleakley), Houses, Days, Skies (Foreign Books, 1988), The Autobiography of My Father (AUP, 1992; place-getter, 1993 Wattie's Book Awards), Chemical Evolution: Drugs & Art Production, 1970-1980 (Bumper Books, 1997) and The Resurrection of Philip Clairmont (AUP, 1999; shortlisted, Montana New Zealand Book Awards). He had many projects on the go - he recently completed the book Terminus Motel, a black comedy about the process of writing for the screen which includes the best part of an original screenplay, he is turning his 25,000-word essay Fenua Imi, the Pacific in History and Imaginary (Bumper Books, 2002) into a full-length book, and is writing a book based on the 1610 voyage of Antonio da Nova from Malacca to Luca Antara and back. "The sole mention of this event is in a letter written by da Nova to cosmographer Manoel Godinho de Eredia and published in Eredia's Report on Meridional India; the recreation of the voyage is necessarily an act of imagination, which will evoke the lost worlds of Nusa Tenggara and the adjacent north west coast of Australia," he says. Martin will be visiting New Zealand in March 2004 as a guest of the International Festival.