Chronicle of the Unsung
‘. . . elegantly written, lacerating, powerful, almost grand in its design and depth of perception. . . . undoubtedly one of the more important works of non-fiction of the year.’ – Peter Wells, Sunday Star-Times
Chronicle of the Unsung mingles biography and autobiography and is an unusual work, beautifully written and often powerful and moving, which fits no categories.
Four quite separate periods or episodes in Edmond’s life are linked by a number of themes and are often the excuse for discussions of historical figures, typically on society’s margins, or reflections on the nature of art and its relation to personal life. The sections are set in Europe, Australia, Fiji and New Zealand and one of the fascinations of the work is the skilful way in which Edmond conveys the power, often sinister and disturbing, of the places in which he has lived and the impact the locations seem to have on his own personal life.
Chronicle of the Unsung thus becomes at one level an account of Edmond’s own development, of his process of self-discovery, and is another variant on the theme that has always interested him, the nature of the creative personality. The last section concerns a trip to a school reunion at Ohakune and deals with the author’s relations with his well-known family and especially his mother.
Ohakune-born Martin Edmond is now based in Sydney but is often in New Zealand. Several of his screenplays have been produced as award-winning films and four of his books have been shortlisted in the national book awards; his Chronicle of the Unsung won the biography category of the 2005 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. He was the 2004 Writing Fellow at The University of Auckland, in 2007 won a CLL Writers’ Award to support writing Zone of the Marvellous, and was a Michael King Writers’ Centre Writer in Residence in 2010
Winner of Montana New Zealand Book Awards: Biography Category 2005