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Casting Off
Casting Off

Casting Off

A Memoir


224 Pages, 6.5 x 8.5

Formats: Trade Paper, EPUB, Mobipocket, PDF

Trade Paper, $24.99 (US $24.99) (CA $33.99)

Publication Date: December 2017

ISBN 9780947522551

Rights: US & CA

Otago University Press (Dec 2017)


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At the end of the first volume of Elspeth Sandys' absorbing memoir, What Lies Beneath, an adult Elspeth has solved the riddle of her birth parents and begun to piece together the events of her early life and find her place in the world. Casting Off begins on the eve of Elspeth's first marriage. She and her husband will soon depart New Zealand for England, joining a throng of Kiwis who chose to uproot themselves from their native land. New attachments will be formed: new loves – of people; of places – will take the place of the old. But the home country will continue to exercise a pull. Backgrounding the personal story in this deeply satisfying memoir is the story of the Thatcher years and the creeping virus of neo-liberalism, the sexual revolution of the sixties, the beguiling world of books – reading and writing – and theatre. Elspeth Sandys' refreshing honesty and her skill as a writer of fiction and drama propel the reader through an absorbing life story that is equally a commentary on the meaning of memoir and the peculiarities of memory.


'Highly recommended' – NZ Listener on What Lies Beneath

Author Biography

Elspeth Sandys was born in New Zealand but moved to the UK in 1969. She has published nine novels (River Lines was longlisted for the Orange Prize in 1996), two collections of short stories (Standing in Line won the Elena Garro Pen International Prize in 2003) and has written extensively for the BBC and RNZ. She has also worked in film and TV. Her stage plays have been performed in the UK, the US and NZ. Elspeth's memoir What Lies Beneath was published in 2014. A sequel, Casting Off, followed in 2017. Her most recent novel, Obsession, was published in the same year. In 2019 A Communist in the Family: Searching for Rewi Alley was published to widespread acclaim. Part biography, part family memoir, part travelogue, the book follows the life and times of Rewi Alley of China, the author's cousin. Elspeth has held a number of literary fellowships and residencies, and in 2006 was awarded the ONZM for services to literature. She now lives in New Zealand.