Graphic novelist to focus on Mansfield

00:31, Dec 05 2012
Sarah Laing
GRAPHIC ARTIST: Sarah Laing will be the Michael King writer in residency next year.

An Auckland graphic novelist with an obsession for Katherine Mansfield has won a prestigious writer's residency.

Novelist and graphic designer Sarah Laing will be the Michael King writer in residency next year for her part-memoir and part-fiction novel.

Her novel will focus on Katherine Mansfield's life, blended with her own personal account of her fascination with the New Zealand author.

"I envisage this as a lushly-coloured book, painted in inks and watercolours, filled with sensory detail.

"I would like to evoke her stories - 'the apples stained with strawberry pink', the 'pear tree in fullest, richest bloom ... against the jade green sky' - written almost as if she intended them to be painted."
The novel would push Mansfield from the literary world into a wider audience, she said.

Laing's prize included the use of the writer's studio at the Michael King Writers' Centre and $30,000 income for the six-month project.

As a mother-of-three, she said the opportunity would allow her to delve into the author's life without having to clear away the dining table for the children each day.

"I'm really looking forward to the uninterrupted time to draw and explore, and to fully immerse myself in Mansfield's work."


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