Fatal Attraction: Julian Novitz, Michael Robotham and Ben Sanders

Fatal Attraction: Julian Novitz, Michael Robotham and Ben Sanders

Saturday 1 September 2012, 12:30pm—2:30pm

Acclaimed crime writers Michael Robotham and Ben Sanders, and Julian Novitz, whose new novel revolves around a murder and a mystery, talk about the attraction of evil and the perils of genre fiction.

Restriction: All Ages

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According to W.H. Auden, detective stories – and thrillers, he would surely have added – have nothing to do with works of art. And as blogger Dorothy James has pointed out, Dan Kavanagh, Julian Barnes' crime writing alter ago, would never be shortlisted for, let alone win, the Man Booker Prize. So why are these literary distinctions made, between crime and thrillers, and so-called 'literary fiction'? Are books that turn on a mystery, even when brilliantly written, victims of their genre? Is Julian Barnes right to say that life is not a detective story?

Christchurch-born Julian Novitz won the Bank of New Zealand Katherine Mansfield Award for short fiction in 2008, and held the Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship in

2009. His absorbing new novel, 'Little Sister', is about absent fathers, identity and motivation.

Australian Michael Robotham spent 14 years as an international journalist before becoming a ghostwriter in 1993. His first novel, 'The Suspect', was chosen as only the fifth International Book of the Month. His second, 'Lost', won the Ned Kelly Award in 2005; 'Shatter' did the same in 2008. 'Say You're Sorry' was published this year.

Ben Sanders has been a keen writer since his early teens and his debut novel, 'The Fallen', was published to high acclaim in 2010, as was 'By Any Mean's, which appeared in 2011 and spent some weeks on the bestseller list. His next novel, 'Only the Dead', will be published in November.

Chair: Crime fiction enthusiast and blogger Craig Sisterson is the deputy editor of 'NZ Lawyer' and the organiser of the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Fiction.
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