Nominated by:

Auckland Libraries, New Zealand

Dunedin Public Libraries, New Zealand

Publisher of nominated edition:

Vintage, New Zealand

All Day at the Movies

Fiona Kidman    

Wry, moving, beautifully observed and politically astute, this latest novel from one of our finest chroniclers pinpoints universal truths through very New Zealand lives.

Life isn’t always like it appears in the movies. In 1952, Irene Sandle takes her young daughter to Motueka. Irene was widowed during the war and is seeking a new start and employment in the tobacco fields. There, she finds the reality of her life far removed from the glamour of the screen. Can there be romance and happy endings, or will circumstances repeat through the generations? Each subsequent episode in this poignant work follows family secrets and the dynamics of Irene’s children. The story doesn’t just track their lives, but also New Zealand itself as its attitudes and opportunities change — and reverberate — through the decades.

About the author

Dame Fiona Kidman is one of New Zealand’s most celebrated writers. Winner of numerous awards and fellowships for literature including a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honour, Dame Fiona is renowned as one of New Zealand’s foremost storytellers, having written over 30 books, including novels, short stories and poetry, and more than 60 television, film and radio scripts. She was created a Dame (DNZM) in 1998 in recognition of her contribution to literature.

(from publisher)

Librarians’ comments

All Day at the Movies takes the stories of one family and holds them up to the light, illuminating the past, and boldly exploring subjects such as female emancipation, adoption, war, interracial marriage. The writing is compelling and conveys an underlying optimism which our readers have strongly responded to.

A story told across 55 years of social and cultural history in New Zealand. Emotionally and intellectually enriching, especially given New Zealand’s close connection to the history of female emancipation.

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