Philip Temple


Chance Is a Fine Thing

In this memoir, Philip Temple tells about growing up in England and then taking a chance on leaving it as a teenager to make a new life in New Zealand. It reveals how he came to explore and love the country, climbing its mountains and writing its stories. New Zealand has always pulled him back, despite adventures overseas, exploring previously unknown regions of the world, sailing in high latitudes, trailing through Europe, and having a long love affair with Berlin.

In an honest and diverse appraisal of his life, Philip is revealing about his personal and professional relationships. This includes his search for his father, the breakup of his marriage, difficult times working for the NZ Listener, and his campaigning for MMP. It is also a fascinating account of how he has made a living as a full-time writer. Compelling, thoughtful and moving, the memoir is a unique and important view of the last fifty years.

He thinks, acts and writes like a born-here New Zealander and does so with style and skill. His book is insightful and a delight to read. Dunedin Star.

Temple’s memoir is a great read. He reveals the challenges of immigration and integration from an insider’s and outsider’s point of view. His portrait of New Zealand from the 1950s to today is by turn affectionate and impersonal, biting and grateful. Daily Post.

For those not familiar with Temple’s adventures, this book will be a revelation. It is also a good read. He is never boring, even when writing about himself. Bay Weekend.

Trade Paperback: 272 pages. Publisher: Vintage 2009.

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