The Broken Book
‘Last year I was writing a book about walking. A travel book, meandering, following the random associative habit of thought associated with a walk through a landscape. It would ramble. It would detour to examine curiosities. It would link walking with books read along the way or the things learned in conversation with strangers. . . . Then an earthquake shook me from bed and ripped up the map entirely. The quake sent a jagged tear right through my text.’
Fiona Farrell’s meandering travel book shows how an earthquake can change everything in a flash: the book you were writing, the house you were living in, the thoughts that preoccupied you. The Broken Book consists of four essays about life and walking, bookended by a preamble and an afterword, and interrupted by 21 poems about the Christchurch earthquakes and their aftermath. The poems jolt into the essays like aftershocks, like cracks in the text; they make you pause and reconsider.
The Broken Book is funny, timely, deeply personal but never self-indulgent – it shows Fiona’s talents as a writer and warmth as a human being.
More about Fiona Farrell
Read an extract here
. . . a lyrical sequence of philosophical musings, sometimes autobiographical, always sensitive and wise, interrupted with aftershock regularity by shaken poems. The poems are exquisite. The book is a rare and special treasure. hugged it to my heart at the end of every section, every poem. Uplifting, enchanting, dazzling! – Carole Beu, Herald on Sunday
This is some of the finest writing of its kind that I've ever read, and it made me jealous. – Anne Else, Sunday Star Times
I have been so moved by this book with its beautiful poetry and prose and the insight the author provides into the experiences of the residents of Christchurch over the past 12 months and also of course by way of contrast the great joy to be experienced on walking holidays. . . . This is a very special book which I warmly recommend to you. – Graham Beattie