Elspeth Sandys (3)

What Lies Beneath

ISBN: 9781877578892

Author: Elspeth Sandys    Publisher: Otago University Press

Writer Elspeth Sandys was born during the Second World War, the result of a brief encounter between two people who would never meet again. The first nine months...


Writer Elspeth Sandys was born during the Second World War, the result of a brief encounter between two people who would never meet again. The first nine months of her life were spent in the Truby King Karitane Hospital in Dunedin, where she was known by her birth name, Frances Hilton James. This would change with her adoption into the Somerville family. A new birth certificate was issued and Frances James became Elspeth Sandilands Somerville.

Tom and Alice Somerville, Elspeth's new parents, lived with their son John in Dunedin's Andersons Bay. While Elspeth was happy among the ebullient and welcoming Somerville clan, she had a difficult relationship with her adoptive mother, who was frequently hospitalised with mental health problems.

Elspeth's search for her birth parents did not begin until much later in her adult life. What she discovered after an exhaustive search provided answers that were both disturbing and, ultimately, rewarding.

What Lies Beneath is a searing, amusing, and never less than gripping tale of a difficult life, beautifully told.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 224


Dimensions: 165 x 215 mm


Publication Date: 15-09-2014


Tags: Biography   New Zealand
$35.00
Casting Off

ISBN: 9780947522551

Author: Elspeth Sandys    Publisher: Otago University Press

At the end of the first volume of Elspeth Sandys’ absorbing memoir, What Lies Beneath, an adult Elspeth has solved the riddle of her birth parents and begun t...


At the end of the first volume of Elspeth Sandys’ absorbing memoir, What Lies Beneath, an adult Elspeth has solved the riddle of her birth parents and begun to piece together the events of her early life and find her place in the world. Casting Off begins on the eve of Elspeth’s first marriage. She and her husband will soon depart New Zealand for England, joining a throng of Kiwis who chose to uproot themselves from their native land. New attachments will be formed: new loves – of people; of places – will take the place of the old. But the home country will continue to exercise a pull. Backgrounding the personal story in this deeply satisfying memoir is the story of the Thatcher years and the creeping virus of neo-liberalism, the sexual revolution of the sixties, the beguiling world of books – reading and writing – and theatre. Elspeth Sandys’ refreshing honesty and her skill as a writer of fiction and drama propel the reader through an absorbing life story that is equally a commentary on the meaning of memoir and the peculiarities of memory.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 224


Dimensions: 165 x 215 mm


Tags: New Zealand   Biography
$35.00
A Communist In The Family

ISBN: 9781988531601

Author: Elspeth Sandys    Publisher: Otago University Press

This is my story of the man, Rewi Alley – family member, writer, humanitarian, activist and unwitting myth-maker. It is also the story of his relationship wit...


This is my story of the man, Rewi Alley – family member, writer, humanitarian, activist and unwitting myth-maker. It is also the story of his relationship with a country, China, about which I now know enough to acknowledge how little I know. A Communist in the Family: Searching for Rewi Alley is a beautifully written multi-layered narrative centred on New Zealander Rewi Alley and his part in the momentous political events of mid-twentieth-century China. Part-biography, part-travel journal, part-literary commentary, A Communist in the Family brings together Alley’s story and that of his author cousin, Elspeth Sandys. In 2017, Sandys travelled to China with other family members to mark the ninetieth anniversary of Rewi’s arrival in Shanghai in 1927. One strand of this book follows that journey and charts Sandys’ impressions of modern China. Another tells the story of Rewi’s early life, in an insightful meditation on the complex and always elusive relationship between memory and writing. By placing the man, Rewi, and his work in the context of his time, Sandys is able to illuminate the life of this extraordinary New Zealander in a way that is both historically vivid and relevant to the world of today. Her focus on the role poetry played in his life – both his own and that of the Chinese poets he translated so prolifically – provides moving glimpses of the man behind the myth. Threaded through A Communist in the Family are Sandys’ evolving insights into a nation that looms ever larger in the day-to-day realities of New Zealand and the world. The strange – and strangely intimate – link between the two countries Rewi regarded as home is one in which he played, and continues to play, a crucial role.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 324


Dimensions: 150 x 230 mm


Publication Date: 12-07-2019


Tags: Coming Soon   Biography   History   New Zealand
$40.00
DUE > 16th Jul 2019
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