The “fantastic life” of the writer Elizabeth Knox
Author Elizabeth Knox will be in conversation with broadcaster Kim Hill at this year’s Marlborough Book Festival.
Award-winning author Elizabeth Knox hopes famed Radio New Zealand host Kim Hill gets ‘curious’ and asks questions about her ‘fascinating and hilarious family’.
Knox will be interviewed by Hill at this year’s Marlborough Book Festival, which will feature 13 acclaimed authors and seven interviewers.
The festival will be held at the ASB Theater from Friday July 9 to Sunday July 11, with authors sharing stories about their life and work in multiple hour-long sessions.
Ahead of the festival, Knox gave a preview of some life stories she could share with Hill during their session titled “A Fantastic Life.”
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She described her parents as “really quite left-handed”, with a mother who was raised as an atheist in a “rather socialist” household.
“My grandfather was the secretary of the South Island Workers Union,” she says. During the depression, this union was for agricultural and agricultural workers.
“So they (the workers) would wander the roads looking for work, and he would take them home, forcing my grandmother to always cook for more people and put dumplings in stews to get by.
“My dad was raised by a single mom with three kids before there was any benefit, so he lived in great poverty,” Knox said. “He had no teeth at the age of 21.”
“He was a welfare boy. His mother couldn’t face him, so he ended up being [forced] working on a farm in Wairarapa when he was 13, and the farmer was beating him.
Knox went on to describe how his father had lived in a dirt floor room and searched for food to survive.
“So he had an absolutely terrible time, but he befriended the Greytown librarian, and she gave him books.”
He became self-taught and only went to college after being in the Merchant Navy during WWII, when the military was allowed to enter college even though they had not completed their grades. studies.
“So dad had a very uneven life. He was very messy because his life had been so difficult, ”Knox said.
Despite their origins, they were fantastic parents, she said.
She described her two sisters as “interesting people”, and added that she did not think at all that she would write without the imaginary games she played with her sisters and friends.
“It was like a workshop for that,” she said.
Knox will share more of her life and family, overcoming dysgraphia and her story-writing process when interviewed by Hill in the Whitehaven Wine Room at the ASB Theater at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday July 10.
Reservations can be made at the box office or online at www.asbtheatre.com.