This book is not Fiona Farrell's first response to Christchurch's great tragedy. In 2011, she produced , which also reflected on the 'quake. An endnote to says that it is the first, non-fiction part of a two-part project, the second volume of which will be fiction.
Taking the Avon Loop neighbourhood as her example, Fiona Farrell argues that Red Zoning has often functioned as a form of land grab by developers. They wanted to change the social nature of the area by creating expensive riverside residences beyond the reach of the socio-economic group who lived in "the Loop" pre-earthquake.
My heart sank when I read that Fiona Farrell’s latest collection, The Pop-Up Book of Invasions, was the product of a six-month stay in Ireland by this “descendent of Irish tenants, an illiterate scrum of Farrells, Slavens, Malones, O’Tooles and Dalys”. Farrell is twice-removed from Ireland – her father born in Dundee where his parents had fled Ireland’s 19th-century misery – and all the more primed, one would imagine, for the typical schwarmerei of half-digested Yeats and the loving rehearsal of the depredations of perfidious Albion.
Fiona Farrell has been a Christchurch resident for more than 20 years, and she has often expressed her love for the city. As well as revelling in her writing cottage out of town, she came to enjoy the neighbourly suburbs near the city centre that had a strong sense of community.
Best New Zealand Fiction. Vol 4
Random House New Zealand 2007
edited by Fiona Farrell
'This popular series continues with a new editor, Fiona Farrell, who has scoured the country and beyond for a sampling of the best stories being written by our writers today. She has selected a variety of voices and styles, with vivid images as diverse as a giant turtle burying its eggs in the sand, children rummaging through piles of kerbside inorganic rubbish and an eel landing on a crisp white shirt. There are moments of tenderness and revelation, humour and insight, each story reverberating beyond the confines of the page, staying with the reader long after its end.'
Michelle Arathimos, Sandra Arnold, Ben Brown, David Eggleton, Charlotte Grimshaw, Eirlys Hunter, Witi Ihimaera, Stephanie Johnson, Tim Jones, Fiona Kidman, Sue McCauley, Paula Morris, Carl Nixon, Julian Novitz, Sue Orr, Sarah Quigley, Duncan Sarkies, Tracey Slaughter, C.K. Stead, Judith White