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Thursday 20 May 2021 12:39pm

Lauris and Frances Edmond: A mother and daughter story

Frances Edmond

The bookFrances Edmond Website

Always Going Home is the compelling personal story of Frances Edmond's relationship with her 'beloved, complicated, difficult' mother, the award-winning poet Lauris Edmond (1924–2000).

This book takes a more intimate look at areas of Lauris's private life than have been detailed in previous family histories and autobiographies. Writing from memory, family recollections, and the 'goldmine' of Lauris's correspondence and diaries, Frances details how her life intersected with, and often diverged from, her mother's. As creative collaborator, sole literary executor, and a frequent sounding board and confidante, Frances was privy to details known to very few. Beyond the trivia of 'who said what about whom', she learned about the wounds her mother carried and her inability to manage, or influence, the shifting tides of grief and resentment within their family.

Always Going Home
is more than a personal account of an 'impossible but greatly admired' mother, and more than an account of a writer's literary and familial struggles and triumphs – it is a revealing love story about how relationships between mothers and daughters evolve, complete with their unique blessings and challenges.

Somewhere you are always going home;
some shred of the rag of events
is forever being torn off and kept

—Lauris Edmond, from 'The Sums'

“A remarkable, compassionate response that honours the role of intimate family relationships in shaping a creative life. Thought-provoking and moving, I couldn't put it down.” — Laurence Fearnley

Reviews and Interviews

'The book's subtitle, 'Lauris and Frances Edmond: a mother and daughter story' perfectly encapsulates not only this search but also author's diligent and moving attempt to undertake the almost impossible feat of distancing herself from bias while chronicling the life of one of New Zealand's most esteemed and cherished authors. ... Frances frames her narrative in affection, admiration, respect and investigation ... Always Going Home is a tender, confronting and clever read. It will be of interest to readers of New Zealand literature as well as those who enjoy biographies and memoirs.' — Siobhan Harvey reviews Always Going Home for Kete Books Read

Frances Edmond speaks to Lynn Freeman on Standing Room Only, RNZ Listen
Always Going Home extracted on Stuff Read
Frances Edmond speaks to the Sunday Star Times Read
Jane Westaway reviews Always Going Home for ReadingRoom, Newsroom Read


Frances Edmond is a screenwriter, playwright, non-fiction writer, former actress, and the literary executor for her mother, Lauris Edmond. Frances is led by her passion for writing stories about women and the tendrils of complex, interpersonal relationships in families. She has won numerous awards for her screenplays, including the 2017 Platinum Award at the International Film Festival of Women, Social Issues, and Zero Discrimination for her short film 'The Apple Tree', and the 2008 Best Short Screenplay Award at the Moondance Film Festival for her short film, 'Eeling'. She was also the 2007 Winner of the PANZ playwriting competition for her script 'The Dance of Life'.

Publication Details

Paperback, 230 x 150mm, 292pp.
ISBN 9781990048432, $40

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