Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Launch of Maxine Alterio’s new novel Lives We Leave Behind

 Last Thursday, in the company of family, friends and book lovers, nurse historian Pamela Wood launched Maxine Alterio’s new novel Lives We Leave Behind at Technique Restaurant, Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin.

Lives we Leave Behind follows Kiwi nursing sisters Meg and Addie in Egypt and France during WW1. Their friendship grows as they care for young soldiers and face the attending atrocities of trench warfare. Tender, poignant and sharply written, Alterio’s novelist’s eyes and meticulous research and reading, make this a compelling novel, which not surprisingly went immediately to number two in the New Zealand Fiction bestseller list on publication.

Colleagues and students from the School of Hospitality set up the book launch venue to resemble a military hospital complete with canteen, flags and sandbags. They also themed the food to match the settings in the novel. To signal the French phase, Monsieur R, complete with black beret and heavy accent, entered the room, blew a whistle and welcomed everyone to France.

Bronwyn W-G and Erin from the University Book Shop sold out of books; Bronwyn H connected Maxine’s Brisbane-based daughter online; and Steve E took lots of photos, some of which are shown here.

On departure, the students who were dressed in army uniforms, presented everyone with a beautiful hand-made paper box decorated with a red poppy and containing a small Anzac biscuit. So a memorable evening for many reasons! 

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