Widely regarded as one of New Zealand’s greatest fiction writers, Maurice Gee has written virtually no non-fiction. The exceptions are the two exquisite childhood reminiscences combined here into a memoir in this BWB Text.
In this little known work, Gee describes in fascinating detail his boyhood and family life in West Auckland and offers illuminating insights into some of the creative forces which have driven some of his fiction: the creek with its dangers – where, he writes, he glimpsed ‘sex and death’ – the kitchen with his mother preparing dinner in the gathering dark, and his elderly uncle, later the model for the magnificent Plumb.
What are BWB Texts?
BWB Texts are short books on big subjects by great New Zealand writers. Commissioned as short digital-first works, BWB Texts unlock diverse stories, insights and analysis from the best of our past, present and future New Zealand writing.
'Creeks and Kitchens is not only a memoir – it shows the development of a writer, from first creeks and kitchens, awareness of sex and death, through to family folkloric and beyond, considered from the distant position of the author at time of writing ...This one may be small, but its impact is big.' Ruth Brassington, Scoop Review of Books
'The author paints a picture of his childhood memories so vivid that you can almost feel the heat of the black stove and feel the worn, brown lino beneath your feet. There's a reason Gee is held in such high stead as a writer: he is one of our best and has earned every single one of those awards he has received over the years.' Jillian Allison-Aitken, Southland Times
Excellent, I'm hooked. Superb writing. I thoroughly enjoyed 'Creeks and Kitchens'. Prompting me to seek Gee books I haven't yet read. @nzfi
Enjoyed this memoir by Maurice Gee … lovely gentle writing about childhood and writing for children. @talkingtothecan
'It is a richly detailed picture of Gee's childhood world in and around Newington Rd, Henderson, in the 1930s and 1940s: the places, with emphasis on the titular creek and kitchen, "the poles that I moved between for most of my childhood" ... Both of the essays from which the book is drawn are difficult to come by, and we can be grateful for having them back in print in this rearranged form.' Lawrence Jones, Otago Daily Times
'Depth and brevity – some of the best forty-six pages you could read in a while actually. This is a wonderful piece of writing ... Great, perceptive piece of publishing.' Tilly Lloyd, Newstalk ZB Book Review