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2016 Honoured NZ Writer: Vincent O'Sullivan

The pre-eminent scholar and distinguished novelist, playwright, short story writer, poet, biographer and librettist Vincent O’Sullivan wears his considerable knowledge lightly. His writing is wry, erudite and generous, informed by a childhood spent in suburban Auckland and a deep interest in the multiplicity of humanity. A graduate of the Universities of Auckland and Oxford, O’Sullivan has also made an outstanding contribution to NZ literary scholarship, illuminating the work of John Mulgan and James K. Baxter, and co-editing the five-volume edition Katherine Mansfield’s Collected Letters and the two-volume Complete Fiction. Away from the academy he served as the Books’ Editor for the New Zealand Listener where he was also a trusted critic. He has been feted often, including with a Prime Minister’s Literary Award (2005) and a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (2000), and has won the NZ Book Awards, in its various forms, three times for fiction and three for poetry. We celebrate a life well lived in letters in this free session with Vincent O’Sullivan which brings the Festival to a close on a high note. Chaired by Fergus Barrowman.