Search Browse Media On This Day Map Quotations Timeline Artificial Intelligence Research Free Datasets Remembered About Contact
☶ Go up a page

Mia Farlane

Author Mia Farlane reads from, and discusses Parallel Hell. Mia is introduced by Carole Hicks. After the readings there are questions from the group. A special thank you to Mia and LILAC for allowing this event to be recorded and shared.

Please note that this recording contains multiple references to suicide.

Audio and Text Download mp3 Download HQ mp3Plain Text (for Gen AI)


The recording titled "Mia Farlane," captured at the Lesbian Information, Library and Archives Centre (LILAC) in Wellington, provides an engaging insight into the musings and literary works of author Mia Farlane. Introduced by Carole Hicks, the event was a homage to the pride movement and also featured a range of other community contributions.

During the event, Farlane graciously shares excerpts from the latest novel, "Parallel Hell," after a brief introduction to previous works, including "Footnotes to Sex" and "Crossed Wires." "Footnotes to Sex" is introduced as a tragicomedy set across London and Paris, orbiting around a couple's challenges amidst academic pursuits and personal idolization. Farlane talks about the journey of writing "Parallel Hell," which is an exploration into the theme of suicide—a marked departure from the topics of the earlier novels.

The focus of "Parallel Hell" on bereavement by suicide and being suicide-obsessed forms the foundational subject matter explored in the recording. Farlane also touches upon the personal experience of grappling with these topics while crafting the narrative. The influence of celebrated figures like Dorothy Parker, known for their incisive treatment of similarly grave subjects, is acknowledged with esteem and integrated into the discussion of the writing process.

Farlane's time in Wellington, on an unpaid leave from the job at South Bank Centre's National Poetry Library, influenced the development of "Parallel Hell." The character's relocation to their hometown shaped the trajectory of the story, underlining the distinct dynamics of dealing with such an obsessive state of mind in an intimate, less anonymous setting.

The interrogation of the topic was amplified by Farlane's engagement with various related activities—attending marches, exhibitions, and delving deep into literature on suicide at the Wellington public library. These experiences, both personal and research-based, formed the fabric of the narrative woven in the book. Farlane conveys the resonant emotional investment in the subject matter and its portrayal through the fictional protagonist.

During the QandA segment, Farlane candidly addresses the intricate and sensitive nature of the topic in relation to New Zealand's high suicide rates, the writing process, and personal experiences with the theme. Farlane emphasizes that fiction is a medium of exploration driven by obsession, in this case, with human struggle and pain. The conversation opens up discussions on societal and individual implications of suicide, queer identity, and the effects of shifting narratives around these often stigmatized issues.

Closing the event, Farlane expresses gratitude for the opportunity to share insights and interacts with attendees who posed questions ranging from character development to personal ties with the novel's themes. Though the publication dates for "Parallel Hell" are still undetermined, Farlane assures that they will announce it on their blog, inviting listeners to join the newsletter for updates.

This summary is created using Generative AI. Although it is based on the recording's transcription, it may contain errors or omissions. Click here to learn more about how this summary was created.

Record date:25th March 2021
Location:Lesbian Information, Library and Archives Centre (LILAC), Wellington
View on Map
Archive:The master recording is archived at the Alexander Turnbull Library (OHDL-004613).