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New Zealand novel focuses on provincial ruin

Local Financial Crisis? New Zealand novel focuses on provincial ruin

The Global Financial Crisis (GFC) is often a story of New York traders and sub-prime mortgages.

But in the years that followed the GFC, many identical smaller stories played out around the world. These stories were of small time players by international standards, but whose collapses left large dents in local economies. New Zealand for example, was hit hard by a large number of finance companies falling into receivership and liquidation, leaving investors billions of dollars out of pocket.

Wellington author Brannavan Gnanalingam charts the fortunes of a fictitious finance companyManchester Golda fictitious Cantabrian townManchesterin his third novel, Credit in the Straight World. To be released on Friday 1 May 2015, the novel follows Frank Tolland as he casts off an ignoble birth to become the singular leader of business and community in small-town New Zealand.

Told through the eyes of his mute brother, George, Credit in the Straight World is a sharp and satirical account of a small-town finance company, and sweeps through the dramatic economic changes of the 20th and the 21st centuries.

“It’s a story of family fortunes and misfortunes, of a sibling in the shadows, keeping the accounts of his more successful older brother.” said Gnanalingam, “but don’t mistake it for some kind of grand confession. ”

Credit in the Straight World is the third book from Brannavan Gnanalingam to be released through Lawrence & Gibson publishing. His first, Getting Under Sail, was described by the NZ Listener as a ‘unique and beguiling effort’. In 2013, You Should Have Come Here When You Were Not Here was published to critical acclaim. It was praised by the NZ Listener as “terse and strong” and “genre-defying," and by Booksellers NZ as “raw and economical, painting beautifully truthful pictures.”

“In his previous books Gnanalingam has shown a knack for precise observations of gender and race in foreign lands. This book shows that he can cast an equally keen eye on small-town New Zealand,” said Murdoch Stephens, editor at Lawrence and Gibson. “Knowing the collapse is coming lends the novel a gravitas that the reader comes closer to with every turn of the page, a fatalism not dissimilar to the knowing that some of these finance company CEOs would have also experienced in their own final weeks.”

Credit in the Straight World will be launched at the 17 Tory St open source community gallery in Wellington from 530pm on Friday 1 May. At 6pm there will be a reading and at 7pm there will be music from Womb & Dick Whyte (solo).


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