Dear Sweet Harry
Dear Sweet Harry is Lynn Jenner’s first collection – the autobiography of an obsession linking the author’s own family history with that of two famous deceivers, Harry Houdini and Mata Hari. In an act of imaginative will Jenner assembles ‘factions’ and ephemera, poems and scraps that summon other diverse characters, objects and places: France, ham radio, World War I, trains, TB, her grandfather Harry (who saw Houdini perform in London), Katherine Mansfield and Paraparaumu. The pieces include family memories and tokens – a letter to her grandfather, a recipe for cough mixture – as well as detritus from other lives.
Dear Sweet Harry is a tender and virtuoso ‘Hey presto!’ with a global reach and an offbeat charm, unlike anything else in New Zealand literature.
More about Lynn Jenner
Read an extract here
Awards and Nominations
Winner – 2011 New Zealand Society of Authors Jessie Mackay Award for Best First Book of Poetry – Dear Sweet Harry, Lynn Jenner
Teasing, funny, mysterious, impressionistic, utterly impossible to classify or to characterise by quotation or analogy – it is simply exhilarating to read, and I can’t wait to see what Jenner does next. – Hugh Roberts, NZ Listener
Lynn Jenner has written a beautiful and poignant book which brings together Houdini, Mata Hari, Katherine Mansfield and Jenner's own history into a special collection which will enhance any bookshelf. – Elizabeth Marrow, Wairarapa Times Age
[This is] poetry that is exacting, nimble and addictive. - Paula Green, NZ Herald