The other day William Brandt and I were walking to buy sushi for lunch when we realised that we have been working together for three years. William is one of the best workmates I’ve ever had. He’s smart and funny and really talented. As well as teaching together at Modern Letters, William and I have been working with Hinemoana Baker and Anahera Gildea as part of the Prison Writing Collective – which has been really great fun also.
William received a Diploma in Acting from the National Institute of Dramatic Arts, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia (1985), and was awarded an MA in Creative Writing with Distinction from Victoria University (1998). His short story collection Alpha Male won the New Zealand Post Award for Best First Book. His novel The Book of the Film of the Story of My Life was twice shortlisted for the Prize in Modern Letters and has been published in New Zealand, the UK and the US. His work appears in numerous anthologies and has been translated into French, German and Italian. His play, Verbatim, written in 1993 with assistance from the Department of Corrections and originally performed by Miranda Harcourt, is based on in-depth interviews with inmates of prisons around New Zealand. Verbatim is on the NCEA curriculum and is being reprinted this year to coincide with a national tour by Last Tapes Theatre Company. William teaches short fiction at the International Institute of Modern Letters, Victoria University. He wrote the short film, My Father’s Shoes, which screened in the New Zealand International Film Festival’s Homegrown programme of NZ shorts and the Melbourne International Film Festival. A black comedy, the film tells the story of a prodigal son’s attempts to beg, borrow and steal his father’s old gardening shoes. My Father’s Shoes also plays shortly in the Montreal World Film Festival, and has been purchased by Polish television.
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Episode 12: Pip Adam talks with William Brandt about Under the Skin by Michel Faber