Chessie Henry

Chessie Henry grew up in Christchurch and Kaikōura, and is the author of family memoir We Can Make a Life.

Her personal essays have been published by The Spinoff and The Wireless, and she holds a Masters in Creative Writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters.

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Festival session

We Can Make a Life

- in conversation with Laurie Murdoch

6pm-7pm, Saturday  6  July,  Spy Valley Wines, Waihopai Valley, $30

We Can Make a Life is "beautifully written and highly engaging", said the judges who shortlisted Chessie Henry's powerful family memoir in the 2019 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. The memoir includes interviews with Chessie's father Chris, a Kaikoura-based doctor who crawled through the burning CTV building after the 2011 Christchurch earthquake to rescue those who were trapped. It explores the impact of the Christchurch and Kaikōura earthquakes on her family.


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