Author(s): Shonagh Koea
Looking back over her varied life in a range of roles, including daughter, wife, mother, journalist and novelist, Shonagh Koea has collected a store of vivid memories that often centre on food. In these moving vignettes, she recalls her past, giving us a privileged insight into her life and into a New Zealand that no longer exists, along with delicious recipes and a strong sense of the gentle yet significant encounters we have with strangers and acquaintances. Much more than a straightforward memoir, this book is an astute and sometimes wry observation of social interaction, of New Zealand's recent history and of the place that food has in our everyday lives. It is also the intriguing story of a unique writer, of her life, her thoughts and her work. First published August 2006.
Shonagh Koea's notable writing career met with early success in a Woman's Weekly writing contest, in which (aged eight) she won two guineas. She went on to become a journalist and to win the Air New Zealand Short Story Award (1981), and more recently to write three short story collections as well as seven novels. Of the novels, Sing to Me, Dreamer was a finalist in the New Zealand Book Awards (1995) and The Lonely Margins of the Sea was runner-up for the Deutz Medal for Fiction (1999). Shonagh Koea has also held the University of Auckland Fellowship in Literature (1993) and the Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship (1997).