Peter Farrell's memoir has been published!
"The Lie That Settles" includes growing up in Otto Shaw's pioneering Red Hill School in Kent, where his mother Marion was Matron; his life and early career in England, which included a newly-opened HMP Grendon (still Europe's only fully therapeutic community prison); and the life-changing move to New Zealand where he started as a prison guard and became a Senior Civil Servant in the national heritage sector.
To order the book from outside New Zealand, email Peter with your delivery address. He will invoice you (GB£25 inc postage) through PayPal. Once payment is made he will post the book to you.
Email Peter using this form.
The Press Release: 'A Very Personal Memoir'
“I have just read The Lie That Settles and I write at once to say I was moved by it (to tears); and how full of admiration that you took the journey you did and have told the tale so well.” - Michael King (on reading an early draft)
Ex-Te Papa director, Peter Farrell is not the first person to discover he is illegitimate, but few have been brave enough to provide such an illuminating account of a search for a father. The Lie That Settles is a rich and compelling memoir, revealing a surprising personal history behind an apparently conventional life.
Through Peter’s mother, Marion we are taken from East End munitions’ factories of the First World War and mental health institutions in 1920s to the bohemian free school movement. Marion’s strength and the sacrifices she makes for her son are moving themes throughout the story. Peter’s own life experiences are forged on a childhood of institutional living with no concept of conventional family life. Immigrating to New Zealand, Peter begins his new life working on a remote prison farm in central North Island. He moves through the public service, rising to a director’s position at Te Papa. It is here, after many years and encounters that Peter finally understands what Māori mean by whanau.
The Lie That Settles is a powerful story of loss, love and survival spanning nine decades and two continents.
“I loved the book. I was interested, absorbed and often very moved.” – Dame Fiona Kidman
Peter Farrell was born in London in 1940 and immigrated to New Zealand in 1965. He has had a varied career in the Public Sector, mostly in change management roles. He was a director at Te Papa during its merger with National Museum and Art Gallery through to its opening in 1998.
Peter Farrell studied creative writing with Fiona Kidman, has an advanced diploma in applied arts (creative writing) from Whitireia, and is a graduate of the Massey University Life Writing Course. He has had short stories highly commended in a number of competitions including the Katherine Mansfield Awards, had work accepted by Radio New Zealand and has contributed to a number of short story anthologies and journals including The Magpie Stole My Heart .
He has children and grandchildren in Abu Dhabi, Rome, Brisbane and Kuala Lumpur and lives with his wife Sue, in Petone near Wellington.
“An impressive work. A huge journey full of wonder, sadness, hope and consciousness it captured me completely.” – Norman Bilbrough
The Lie That Settles by Peter Farrell | Published 19 September 2013 | Oceanbooks Publishers | paperback | rrp. $35.00