Saturday, 18 November 2006

Cupid on a Friday Night, James Norcliffe, Alan Bunn, 2006

CUPID ON A FRIDAY NIGHT The fifth in the Re-Draft series ed. James Norcliffe and Alan Bunn, Clerestory Press, Christchurch, New Zealand, 94 pages, paperback.
ISBN 09582201-74

Slightly bigger, noticeably brighter and with the quality of writing as high as ever, the latest collection in the Re-Draft series of writing by teenage New Zealanders has achieved its half-decade. Cupid on a Friday Night is a handsome and rewarding reading experience, a credit to its editors. There is powerful poetry, such as Isobel McKinnon’s reflection on her sister’s epilepsy: “I listen for the crash of her delicate bones/ against the furniture.”

The prose ranges from Jan Yves Ruzicka’s gruesome tale Making a Meal of It to Leigh McLennon’s poignant Sarah’s Box, where the reader’s emotion are skilfully manipulated by a deceptively simple story of a plastic doll. I particularly enjoyed Change, a subtly wicked account of Maui as a washed-up ex-hero, written by Harley Trafford, a name to watch for. In fact this collection, like its predecessors, is a vivid reminder of just how good our teenage writers are.

Trevor Agnew

First published in the Press, Christchurch, New Zealand on Jan 21st 2006.

No comments: