Hollywood may be on wrong track
Hollywood tells us that our near death experience will involve a bright white light, angels and probably pearly white gates.
But what if that isn’t how it goes?
This fascinating idea sparked Sarah Laing’s latest novel The Fall of Light.
‘‘I knew this guy who came off his bike and he didn’t have a near death experience. It really bothered him, he thought ‘ what does this mean, don’t I have a soul?’
‘‘The idea started when I was listening to this podcast about how pilots flying in high pressure would have out-of-body experiences that were similar to what we imagine as a near death experience. It’s actually a neurological phenomenon that happens when the body is starved of oxygen and I was just interested in that.’’
The Fall of Light follows the story of successful innercity Auckland architect Rudy who is calmly weathering a separation from his wife on the outside, but pours all of his energy into lavish, over-imaginative building projects that keep missing the mark with his clients.
After an accident with his Vespa he is forced to take a step back and explore his role as a father, an artist, and an adoptee.
Ms Laing will be speaking about the book at the Going West Books and Writer’s Festival which runs from August 17 to September 15.
It’s the Mt Albert resident and former graphic designer’s second novel.
The mother of three launched her literary career in 2007 with the collection of short stories, Coming Up Roses.
In July she began a prestigious residency at the Michael King Writer’s Centre to work on her graphic novel about the life of 1920s’ New Zealand author Katherine Mansfield.
‘‘Ever since I first read The Doll’s House when I was a child I’ve had this fascination with Katherine Mansfield.
‘‘And I think I share this fascination with so many people because ever since I’ve said I’m doing this so many people have come up to me and said ‘let me tell you my story about her’,’’ Ms Laing says.
The residency sees her sees her time split between the University of Auckland and a villa provided by the centre in Devonport which allows her to escape domestic clutter and get down to writing and drawing.
At the upcoming writers’ festival she will also be chairing a discussion session with authors Matt and Debbie Cowans based around their graphic novel Mansfield with Monsters.
Guest writer: Author Sarah Laing will speak about her new novel and other work at the Going West Books and Writers Festival.