Author(s): Vivienne Lingard
The (almost) true story of a man called Jack, is a fictionalised memoir about my father, John Frederick Lingard Fowlds. He was such a character, I decided to make him one in his own story. Altering names and events, was freeing, enabling me write my family as ‘other’. I loved that. The story recounts Jack McPhee’s life through the 1950s and 60s with his family in Silverstream, in the Hutt Valley north of Wellington. The McPhees live in a dilapidated old villa, which would be in today’s terms be known as ‘the worst house in the best street’. Thigh-high weeds are the garden, crazed concrete is the front yard. The four children share the one bedroom and the parents sleep in the lounge. But Jack has a plan to renovate. Jack always has a plan. He tries his hand at sign-writing, singing, acting and art. He is funny, playful, and just loves life. But he is also hard-working; running bookstalls, bookshops and a travelling library during his short life. The (almost) true story of a man called Jack, will likely make you laugh, and cry, but it is certainly going to wish that you had known the man called Jack.
Vivienne Lingard comes from Silverstream in the Hutt Valley and now lives in Devonport, Auckland. She has a background in art, which includes exhibiting, teaching and children’s book illustration. Vivienne has a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Auckland, and has completed courses in advanced fiction writing at Massey University. She completed a mentorship programme through the New Zealand Society of Authors and a short story masterclass with Tome Jenks in San Francisco. Vivienne is currently working on a new novel as well as continuing with her art practice.