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History and the Novel

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  • Thu 15 May ’08, 6:00pm – 7:00pm


ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, 50 Mayoral Drive, Auckland CBD Show map

Ticket Information:

  • Adult: $19.50

War and Peace is perhaps the greatest historical novel of all time. Was Hardy also an historical novelist? Why is the term faintly pejorative when these great works aim to eviscerate the past? (Who can forget the Mayor of Casterbridge selling his unwanted wife?)

Simon Montefiore’s novel "Sashenka" features Stalin, Rasputin and billionaire oligarchs of contemporary Moscow as characters, but is ultimately the story of a woman, her children, love, death, betrayal and the poison of the past in 20th-century Russia.

Luke Davies’ "God of Speed" explores Howard Hughes’ extraordinary era and life.

Sarah Hall’s earlier novels, "Haweswater" and "The Electric Michelangelo" were set in very specific eras, and were inspired in part by actual events. Where does research end and fiction begin, or is this the precise point at which historical novels gain audiences and lose authenticity?

Chair: Fiona Kidman.

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