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Jan Morris cancels trip to NZ due to ill health


Jan Morris cancels trip to New Zealand due to ill health

New Zealand International Arts Festival guest Jan Morris has had to withdraw from New Zealand Post Writers and Readers Week due to ill health.

The New Zealand International Arts Festival’s Artistic Director Carla van Zon says:

“We deeply regret that travel writer and pre-eminent chronicler of our era, 79-year-old Jan Morris is unable to be part of the Festival. She is an amazing person and we were all very excited to have her in the programme. While she is expected to make a full recovery she has been advised that she must not undertake any international travel for several months.”

Jan Morris was to appear in three sessions, including Brunch with John Campbell scheduled for 11am at the National Bank Festival Club on 18 March.

However, the Festival is pleased to announce that this event will proceed with John Campbell hosting writer, rare book dealer and raconteur Dr Rick Gekoski. He was on the judging panel of the prestigious Man Booker Prize in 2005, and having encountered many acclaimed authors such as Graham Greene, and J R R Tolkien, Gekoski has many fascinating stories to tell.

Brunch With Jan Morris ticket holders have been offered the option of retaining their tickets and using them for entry to the replacement session with Rick Gekoski and John Campbell, or getting a refund from Ticketek.

Another exciting addition to the programme is the young, prize-winning Indian writer Suketu Mehta,
whose highly acclaimed Maximum City – Bombay Lost and Found won the Kiriyama Prize and was shortlisted for both the Pulitzer Prize and the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction.

Concessions passes for the New Zealand Post Writers and Readers Week, which offer priority booking and discounted prices for more than 25 Writers and Readers events, are now available from Ticketek or online. And there are still tickets available to the Flashpoint sessions with historian Ronald Wright and scientist Armand Marie Leroi.

The full New Zealand Post Writers and Readers programme will be available to concession pass holders on Tuesday 24 January and to the general public on Saturday 4 February from Unity books and other bookshops, New Zealand Post shops, libraries and online


Rick Gekoski biography
Rick Gekoski – passionate writer, rare book dealer and academic, Man Booker Prize judge (2005) and dedicated poker player - is a bibliophile’s dream. Described as Bill Bryson on books (Tatler), this consummate raconteur brings an infectious love of literature, a fine sense of fun and a fabulous flair for indiscretion to his witty and shrewd tales of the world of words. Replete with stories of first editions and famous writers, including encounters with Graham Greene, Ted Hughes, JD Salinger, William Golding and J R R Tolkien, Gekoski provides the perfect Saturday morning company for anyone who cherishes the magic of stories. Enjoy good food and a refreshing glass as the author of Tolkien’s Gown & Other Stories of Great Authors and Rare Books joins first edition collector John Campbell to celebrate the joy of books and to traverse the literary tradition from Ulysses to Winnie the Pooh via some of the masterpieces of 20th century literature.

Great Authors, Rare Books: Brunch with Rick Gekoski and John Campbell
When: Sat 18 Mar, 11am-1pm
Where: The National Bank Festival Club

Suketu Mehta biography
Writer and journalist Suketu Mehta was born in Calcutta, raised in Bombay and is now based in New York. He has been widely published, including articles in National Geographic, Granta and the New York Times Magazine, and is currently working on an original screenplay for Merchant-Ivory. Maximum City, his first book and the product of seven years of research and writing, is a “tour de force… part memoir, part journalism, part travelogue” (The Times). This remarkable account of the seething metropolis of Bombay won the Kiriyama Prize and was shortlisted for both the Pulitzer Prize and the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction. It is a dazzling and extraordinary work which extends its philosophical reach well beyond geographical borders. “[It] is more than a consideration of the material limits on urban living; it is a profound meditation on the existential (and even spiritual) longings that persist despite those limits.” (New York Times Book Review)

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