The Red Queen, by Gemma Bowker-Wright
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‘It’s the first time in forty years. There are snow scenes from all around New Zealand—snow-covered houses, playgrounds, a group of children sliding down a hill on signs, the bucket fountain on Cuba Street lightly dusted.’ In her first collection of stories, Gemma Bowker-Wright leads us into the phases of transition and transformation in people’s lives: a dream job, a rare afternoon between son and father, a man losing his wife to Alzheimer’s, a first snow. Like the Red Queen of Through the Looking-Glass, many of these characters are running hard to stay in the same place, but moving ever forward. Their stories, which echo stories from evolution, ecology, and meteorology, form a deeply perceptive and captivating first book. Gemma Bowker-Wright was the winner of the 2010 Sunday Star-Times Short Story Competition and the 2011 BNZ Katherine Mansfield Competition for short fiction. The Red Queen is her first book.