Post­hu­mous kick for slights

Central Leader - - NEWS - By DANIELLE STREET

Anne Frank did it. Nel­son Man­dela did it. And you can do it too.

Au­thor Peter Cross wants to help ev­ery­day Auck­lan­ders write their au­to­bi­ogra­phies to share their fam­ily sto­ries, jokes and life ex­pe­ri­ences.

‘‘I think it’s im­por­tant be­cause when you die it’s gone,’’ he says.

‘‘I’ve got to the age now where I go to a lot of fu­ner­als. And when some­one dies there are a lot of unan­swered ques­tions.

‘‘These were fas­ci­nat­ing people, they had trav­elled and lived. There are frag­ments of mem­o­ries that are car­ried by other people. But they will dis­ap­pear over time.’’

Mr Cross is hold­ing a free event at Mt Eden Vil­lage Cen­tre next month for people to cel­e­brate bio­graph­i­cal writ­ing.

The Mt Eden res­i­dent works on a con­sul­ta­tion ba­sis help­ing people de­velop the skele­ton for their au­to­bi­ogra­phies that they can then flesh out.

‘‘I just love bi­ogra­phies. I love those sorts of sto­ries. I like sto­ries of or­di­nary people. Not just the rich and fa­mous.’’

Cre­at­ing a 60,000 word book can be in­tim­i­dat­ing for some fledg­ling writ­ers.

But Mr Cross guides people to think out­side them­selves by de­scrib­ing the scene and char­ac­ters.

‘‘Apart from any­thing you can get a vi­car­i­ous re­venge on people like a for­mer teacher. People who used to bully you, you can give them a post­hu­mous kick­ing.

‘‘And con­versely you can cel­e­brate un­sung he­roes.’’

The event on March 11 will fea­ture ac­tors read­ing aloud some of the work writ­ten by Mr Cross’ stu­dents.

It is free, but people need to book a place ahead of the evening.

Photo: DANIELLE STREET

Mem­oir man: Au­thor Peter Cross wants to help ev­ery­day Auck­lan­ders get their life sto­ries down on paper.

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