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Contrary Creatures

  • Waitakere Central, West Auckland’s Civic Building in Henderson. 6 Henderson Valley Road Auckland, Auckland, 0612 New Zealand (map)

Pip Adam and Kirsten McDougall

Session Sponsored by Barfoot & Thompson, Titirangi.

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Both writers of realist fiction that plays with the unreal and the mythic, self-described contrary creatures Pip Adam and Kirsten McDougall are also friends and ‘bookish nerds’. Both work in the book industry and have a lifelong obsession with fashion. Together, they discuss the contrary delights of combining the real with the unreal in their latest works. Pip’s novel The New Animals walks the streets of contemporary Auckland city, examining the fashion scene, intergenerational tension and modern life, with an unflinching eye. Kirsten’s novella Tess is a gothic love story set in Masterton at the turn of the millennium, where a young woman on the run from trouble finds herself drawn into a difficult family drama.

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Kirsten McDougall was born in 1974 and grew up in Wellington and Masterton. She was educated at Victoria University, graduating in 2004 with a Masters in Creative Writing. Her first book, a series of interconnected short stories, The Invisible Rider, was published by VUP in 2012. She has published stories and non-fiction in Landfall, Sport, Turbine and Tell You What: Great New Zealand Non-fiction 2016. She was the recipient of the 2013 Creative New Zealand Louis Johnson New Writer’s Bursary, and won the short category of ‘The Long and the Short of It’ fiction competition in 2011. Kirsten works as a publicist and literary manager in Wellington.

Pip Adam has published a collection of short stories, Everything We Hoped For (VUP, 2010) and two novels, I’m Working on a Building (VUP, 2013) and The New Animals (VUP, 2017). Her work has appeared in literary journals and anthologies in New Zealand and overseas. In 2012 Pip received an Arts Foundation of New Zealand New Generation Award and her first book won the NZ Post Best First Book award in 2011. Pip facilitates writing workshops in universities and other settings including with people affected by crime in prisons and communities. Pip makes the Better off Read podcast where she talks with authors about writing and reading.

Buy a single session $15.00 ($12.00 Concession). Bookings at

Earlier Event: 9 September
Mansfield and Medicine
Later Event: 9 September
Allen Curnow: A Life in Poetry