Greg McGee 2013 Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellow

Greg McGee has been awarded the 2013 Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship.

 . . .McGee plans to work on his fourth novel, set in New Zealand and Italy, during his Menton residency.  “I am honoured to be following in the footsteps of many of New Zealand’s finest writers as the Menton Fellow and, like them, I deeply appreciate the time and space the fellowship gives me to concentrate on a major project, particularly since my project requires research in Europe,” he says.

McGee’s first play, Foreskin’s Lament (1981), is one of New Zealand’s most successful and drew on rugby culture of the time to comment on national values. As crime writer Alix Bosco, McKee is the author of the award-winning novel Cut and Run (2009) and Slaughter Falls (2010). He has won several TV awards, including Best Drama Writer for two of his political documentary dramas:  Erebus: the Aftermath (1987), and Fallout (1994).  This year he has produced two new books: a biography of All Black Captain Ritchie McCawThe Open Side and a novel, Love & Money (2012). . .

McGee was born and brought up in Oamaru.

I was intrigued to read in his memoir Tall Tales (Some True) Memoirs of an Unlikely Writer his reference to social class and the difference between his family and those of his friends who lived on the hill.

He’s a few years older than me but we had very similar upbringings.

Our mothers nursed together and my mother was bridesmaid for his. Our fathers were both tradesmen – his a painter and decorator who owned his own business, mine a carpenter at the freezing works.

Yet he looks back with what appears to be a strong perception of social class and I grew up with no perception of it at all.

That is irrelevant to his writing, which is very good.

He’s a versatile writer and this award is well deserved recognition for a long and accomplished career.

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