Penguin New Zealand, 2008
Regional finalist (SE Asia/Pacific) Commonwealth Prize 2009
Forbidden Cities roams the world – Auckland, Los Angeles, Shanghai, London, Budapest, New York, New Orleans – exploring places of escape, transgression, ambition, delusions, and desire.
New Zealanders turn up in Shanghai, Americans in Europe; Mexicans in New York and Los Angeles. Careers, affairs, businesses, and marriages come to an end – at a chic party in the Hamptons, at a hotel in LA, one summer on Takapuna Beach, on a rainy night in Brooklyn. Kids trawling the inorganic rubbish collection in West Auckland have a night off from their real life; a young man working in an academic testing centre in the American Midwest realises the truth about his. An estranged couple are brought together by a funeral; an elderly rangatira has to leave his home on Little Barrier one final time.
‘One of the best short story collections written by a New Zealander in years … These stories are fresh, engaging, and tinged with all those raw emotions that make for excellent fiction.’
New Zealand Herald