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An Awfully Big Adventure - Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival

An Awfully Big Adventure - Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival

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  • Sat 22 Feb ’14, 3:30pm – 5:00pm


Hamilton Gardens, Cobham Drive, SH1, Hamilton


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • General Admission: $8.00

Celebrated authors Jane Tolerton and Matt Elliott come together to present an informative session of the stories they have gathered from World War One.

Matt Elliott's collaboration with cartoonist Chris Slane - Nice Day for a War; Adventures of a Kiwi Soldier in WW1 - was based on his grandfather's experience at the Western Front and crowned Book of the Year at the 2012 NZ Post Children's Book Awards. His best-selling biography of Billy T. James was reviewed as 'the year's best' by Warwick Roger, while his biography of 1905 All Black captain and soldier, Dave Gallaher, was also released in Ireland.

Jane Tolerton is the author of the best-selling An Awfully Big Adventure: New Zealand World War One veterans tell their stories, published by Penguin in 2013. The book is based on the recordings of the WW1 Oral History Archive she and Nicholas Boyack set up in 1987, interviewing 85 veterans over three years.

She also wrote the New Zealand Book Award-winning Ettie (Penguin Books, 1992), a biography of safe sex campaigner Ettie Rout, the best known of the women volunteers who made their own way to the war and worked among the troops. She has produced a number of oral history books, including Convent Girls and Sixties Chicks hit the Nineties.

She is currently working on a book about the women doctors, nurses, volunteers and writers who played a role in the war overseas – to be published by Penguin in 2016. She invites those with diaries, letters and memoirs of these women (and photographs) to contact her (jtolerton@gmail.com) as she wants to produce a book that is full of personal stories and first person-accounts. It will be a female companion volume to An Awfully Big Adventure. Similarly, it will tell the story of the war chronologically through the eyes of New Zealand participants.

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