Greville Texidor

In Fifteen Minutes You Can Say a Lot | VUP Classic

ISBN: 9781776562268

June 2019

First published in 1987 and reissued for the first time, In Fifteen Minutes You Can Say a Lot restores an essential New Zealand writer to new generations of readers.

In Fifteen Minutes You Can Say a Lot begins with Texidor’s most fully achieved piece of work, These Dark Glasses. Distinguished by sophisticated writing and acute psychological insight, it is set on the south coast of France during the Spanish Civil War. The stories which follow range from Spain and England to New Zealand, where she writes unsentimentally and unerringly of the environment of the time. Goodbye Forever, the unfinished novel which concludes the volume, is Texidor’s most sustained piece of writing on New Zealand. The central character, Lili, is a Viennese refugee who arrives amongst the writers of Auckland’s North Shore. She is exotic and alone, and her slow collapse is plotted with minute observation.

Cover: Portrait of Greville Texidor, ‘Head of a Girl’ by Mark Gertler, in the Glasgow Art Gallery. Reproduced by kind permission of the artist’s heir.

Greville Texidor was born in England in 1902, and before her arrival in New Zealand as a refugee at the outbreak of the Second World War she had worked as an artist’s model, actress and music hall dancer, and had fought in the anarchist militia in the Spanish Civil War. While in New Zealand she turned to writing, and by the time she left for Australia and Spain in 1947 she had produced a small but impressive body of fiction. She died in 1964.