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Mansfield and Medicine

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

Sarah Laing and Jo Emeney

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Katherine Mansfield is a literary giant in New Zealand - but she had to leave the country to become one. Sarah Laing wanted to be a real writer, too. A writer as famous as Katherine Mansfield, but not as tortured. Mansfield and Me charts her journey in comic form towards publication and parenthood against Mansfield’s dramatic story. In Family History poet
Dr. Johanna Emeney brings her family history to the page – in all its uniqueness and ordinariness. Her family’s history turned on its head when her mother is diagnosed with breast cancer. In both works, these writers follow an autobiographical narrative, mining the experience of their lives, those around them, and their heroes, to explore those uniquely human questions about who we are, and how we navigate through our lives, our loves and our griefs. Join Sarah and Jo as they discuss their latest works.

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Sarah Laing was born in Champaign-Urbana in 1973 to New Zealand parents, and grew up in Palmerston North. The winner of the 2006 Sunday Star Times Short Story Competition, she went on to publish a collection of stories and two novels, most recently The Fall of Light. She was awarded fellowships at the Michael King Writers Centre, the Sargeson Centre and the University of Auckland. Sarah is also a graphic designer and illustrator. She has contributed comics to magazines, illustrated children’s books, and co-edited Three Words: An Anthology of Aotearoa/NZ Women’s Comics. Her most recent book is Ockham-longlisted Mansfield and Me, a graphic memoir.

Johanna Emeney has published two books of poetry Apple & Tree (Cape Catley, 2011) and Family History (Mākaro Press, 2017). Later this year, Ibidem Press will publish her academic textbook The Rise of Autobiographical Medical Poetry and The Medical Humanities, based on her doctoral study and she is currently working on the poetry chapter for Routledge’s Companion to Literature and Disability. Jo has a background in English Literature, Japanese and Education, all of which she read at Pembroke College, Cambridge, where she also completed a dissertation on Katherine Mansfield’s New Zealand stories. She works as a tutor at Massey University, Auckland, and co-facilitates the Michael King Young Writers Programme.

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


Earlier Event: 9 September
Experiments Across Worlds
Later Event: 9 September
Contrary Creatures