Still Standing: A Memoir - Anna Crighton

Still Standing: A Memoir - Anna Crighton

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For decades, whenever a heritage building in Christchurch has been under threat, especially in the aftermath of the 2010- 11 earthquakes, one woman has consistently defended this city's architecture and history against shortsightedness and the threat of bulldozers - Dame Anna Crighton.

Fearless and articulate, she has fought tirelessly and passionately, not only for the heritage of her hometown, but for the built past of Aotearoa New Zealand. But behind this well-known persona, the city councillor and heritage advocate, lies an extraordinary and unexpected life story, now told publicly for the first time.

In Still Standing, Anna recounts, with her usual unflinching honesty, a childhood bereft of parental affection, a wild adolescence that included a stay at the Mount Magdala Convent ' to straighten her out', unsuitable relationships clung to in a desperate search for love, an unplanned pregnancy that led to adoption, and a violent marriage. Not many people would survive all this, let alone rise above it, to bring up a beloved son, to restore a magnificent Victorian home, to begin university study as an adult and end up with a PhD, to travel the world and, in 2020, to be appointed a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to heritage preservation and governance.

Still Standing will delight anyone interested in history, architecture and the arts, but, even more than that, it is a riveting story of a life lived with courage, and of triumph over adversity.



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