Dunedin Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute

Book: Someone’s Wife (October 2019)

By Linda Burgess

October 8, 2019

A brilliant collection of personal essays from a quietly subversive writer.

These pieces read like the freshest of recent novels-clever, restrained and wittily observant.  They range across the personal and the observational.  There are essays on Linda’s lifetime of being an All Black wife (once an AB, always an AB); her love of teaching, education and the young; and a powerful essay on the death of her baby, Toby, striking in its honesty.

She’s interested in family and friendship; shared and sometimes distorted memories.  Her personal truths link to universal truths.  Linda explores the era in which she grew up, and her experiences are timeless.  She looks at living abroad, at children leaving home, at house-hunting in Wellington, at travelling with a grandchild, at Leonard Cohen concerts as tribal gatherings.

Moving but never sentimental, Linda Burgess’s essays are an engrossing read.

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