Family Narratives

10 Family Narratives
  • Writers

Family Narratives

Past Event

Pip Desmond and Emma Gilkison explore how love compelled them to write about the intimate details of their family lives, revealing stories of universal interest.

Pip Desmond (Song for Rosaleen) has written honestly about caring for her mother, who had dementia. In The Heart of Jesús Valentino, Emma Gilkison recounts the toughest decision of her life.

Kerry Sunderland joins them to explore how memoir captures moments that swing from joy to sadness, and back again. 

Listen to Emma Gilkison talking to Kathryn Ryan about The Heart of Jesús Valentino on RNZ Nine to Noon on Thursday, October 13.


Pip Desmond for NAF websitePip Desmond is a Wellington writer, editor, oral historian and former parliamentary press secretary. She is the author of the award-winning Trust: A True Story of Women and Gangs and The War That Never Ended: New Zealand Veterans Remember Korea. Pip has an MA in creative writing and runs communications company 2Write with her husband Pat. They have three children and four beautiful grandchildren. Song for Rosaleen is an intensely personal account of caring for her mother, but the impending global dementia epidemic gives it universal interest.


Emma Gilkison for NAF websiteEmma Gilkison graduated with a Diploma in Journalism from Massey University and then worked as a freelance feature writer and a columnist for The Sunday Star-Times and The Dominion. In 2013 she gained a Bachelor of Applied Arts (Creative Writing) at Whitireia Polytechnic. She has also studied short fiction and science writing at Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters. Her writing has appeared in newspapers and magazines. She currently lives in Brisbane with her partner Roy Costilla and their son Amaru. The Heart of Jesús Valentino, is the story of how she and her partner have to make the toughest decision of their lives when they learn their unborn baby has a fatal heart condition.

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