Drawn to the horizon
It is the lot of New Zealanders to be peripatetic, says author Lloyd Jones, 55, in an interview with the Independent on Sunday’s James Kidd in Streatham, south London. But at least they have somewhere they can always call home — unlike the protagonist of his latest novel, Hand Me Down World. Jones has spent much of his adult life abroad, though his home remains close to his birthplace in Lower Hutt. New Zealanders are great travellers, he explains, but they also tend to have strong homing instincts. “If you’re from a small place and surrounded by ocean, then inevitably your eye is drawn to the horizon. But we’re sojourners. We’re not like the Africans, Indians or Pakistanis, who come here because it’s a better world.” A similarly nomadic spirit informs his creative imagination. Jones’s excellent new novel, works like a game of literary pass-the-parcel.