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Bill and Shirley
Bill and Shirley

Bill and Shirley

A memoir


200 Pages, 4.5 x 7

Formats: Cloth, EPUB

Cloth, $24.00 (US $24.00) (CA $32.00)

Publication Date: November 2020

ISBN 9780995131835

Rights: US & CA

Massey University Press (Nov 2020)


eBook Editions Available

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Bill Sutch and Shirley Smith were two of New Zealand's most significant twentieth-century figures; Sutch as an economist, influential civil servant, and inspirational proponent of innovation in the fields of social and economic development, and Smith as glass-ceiling breaker in the formerly male-dominated world of the law. Keith Ovenden's wise, urbane memoir begins with the early years of his marriage to Sutch and Smith's only child, Helen Sutch, and carries through Sutch's trial on charges under the Official Secrets Act to Smith's death over 30 years later. It offers unprecedented insights into both the accusations against Sutch and Smith's remarkable legal practice and, behind both, some of the dramas of their domestic life. Deeply intelligent and beautifully crafted, Bill and Shirley: A Memoir is a unique and intimate study of two complex and fascinating New Zealanders.

Author Biography

Keith Ovenden ONZM was born in London in 1943 and was educated at various universities in England and the United States. He taught Political Sociology at the universities of Essex and Canterbury until 1982, when he stepped aside to write full time. He first came to New Zealand with a visiting British university debating team in 1966, returned as a post-doctoral fellow at Victoria University of Wellington in 1972, and has called New Zealand home since 1974. He was well known in the 1970s and 1980s for his radio and TV commentaries on politics and the media, and for reporting on the Rainbow Warrior affair. More recently he has served as a trustee and then chairman of the New Zealand Portrait Gallery. His other books include Apartheid and International Finance: A Program for Change (with Tony Cole); The Politics of Steel; A Fighting Withdrawal: The Life of Dan Davin: Writer, Soldier, Publisher; and the novels Ratatui, O.E., The Greatest Sorrow, and Quick Bright Things.