Tuesday 31 January 2023 2:14pm
Station to Station
Beautifully written and illustrated, Katherine Mansfield’s Europe is part travelogue, part literary biography, part detective story and part ghost story. Guided by Mansfield’s journals and letters, author Redmer Yska pursues the traces of her restless journeying in Europe, seeking out the places where she lived, worked and – a century ago this year – died. Along the way, he meets a cast of present-day Mansfield devotees who help shape his understanding of the impressions Mansfield left on their territories and how she is formally (and informally) commemorated in Europe.
In Katherine Mansfield’s Europe, Yska takes us to the villas, pensions, hotels, spas, railway stations, churches, towns, beaches and cities where Mansfield wrote some of her finest stories. Hauntingly, these are also places where she suffered from piercing loneliness and homesickness, rooms in which she endured illness and extreme physical hardship, windows from which she gazed as she grappled with her mortality.
With maps and stunning photography, this engaging and well-researched book richly illuminates Katherine Mansfield’s time in Europe and reveals her enduring presence in the places she frequented. Whether familiar or unfamiliar with Katherine Mansfield’s work and life, readers will find Yska’s account of her travels and travails in Europe freshly informative and deeply moving.
'Redmer Yska, once again, brings his sharp eye, his wry personal take, to the facts and legends of Katherine Mansfield. In A Strange Beautiful Excitement, he showed how we can no longer truly understand her apart from the city that was first hers, and then his own. Now, with her stories and legends in hand, he traces how in Europe she survives in places that were deeply important to her, and where still she trails devotees and alternative facts. This book is a delight - never solemn, always alert to even the faintest whispers, among buildings and memories and her swathes of slightly evangelical 'true believers.' – Vincent O’Sullivan [co-editor The Collected Letters of Katherine Mansfield]
‘I’ve just finished reading your book and I’m absolutely blown away by it. What a wonderful journey you take us on.’ – Kathleen Jones [author of Katherine Mansfield: The storyteller]
Redmer Yska is an award-winning writer and historian based in Wellington. He has published books on a range of subjects, including New Zealand youth culture, Dutch New Zealanders (like himself), a biography of Wellington City and a history of the tabloid newspaper, NZ Truth. This is Yska’s second book about Katherine Mansfield. His first, A Strange Beautiful Excitement: Katherine Mansfield’s Wellington (Otago University Press, 2017), was longlisted for the 2018 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.
Softcover with jacket
230 x 170mm, 272pp
ISBN 9781990048531, $50
IN-STORE: 2 May 2023