William (Bill) Edginton is a New Zealander. His early career was in the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he had postings in Geneva and London. Participation in a UNESCO General Conference led him to a position with the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO and other work in international education.
William was drawn into political activism through gay service groups, primarily for law reform leading to the legislation enacted in New Zealand in 1986. At the same time, he became involved in an AIDS support network which was formed in Wellington in response to the developing AIDS pandemic.
William's first novel 'From Freyberg' was published in 2004. His second novel 'How Do You Guys See Your Future Lives?' was published as an ebook in 2013.
From Freyberg is a contemporary novel about relationships – about sexual passion and, by contrast, the calmer yet often complex flow of on-going relationships. It focuses on the decline into staleness of the relationship between Craig and Paul, two men who have been together for ten years. Craig gets a jump start from an unexpected affair, and finds himself forced to analyse the relationship he has had with Paul. This brings tensions to the lives of all three characters, who face questions about the meaning of gay relationships, and what they can learn from the lives of other people they meet.
From Freyberg also examines many broader themes about being gay in a heterosexual world – the environment of legal and social prejudice in which both Craig and Paul grew up, the more liberal attitudes they subsequently experience, the devastating impact of the AIDS epidemic, Craig’s longstanding involvement in the Presbyterian Church, and the relationships of each of the central characters with their own biological family members.
How Do You Guys See Your Future Lives?
The novel is about Jim: how he explores his sexuality and develops his confidence as a gay man; how his parents support him as a gay son; how he experiences living with another young man; and the influence of other gay men. It is also about Andrea whom Jim came to know as a university student and who later bore Jim’s son through an AHR procedure.
Jim’s first love, Jeff, opts for a life focused on his art. He has no wish to father a child. Jim’s later partner, David, accepts parental responsibilities with Jim’s child by Andrea and subsequently his own. Andrea’s partner, Sarah, does the same with Jim’s son and her own daughter. The story works through the social, legal, medical and career issues involved in this family of choice.
There are sub-themes in the novel: particularly the power structure of gender; life choices in terms of career paths and parenting; Roman Catholic doctrine on same-sex relationships; shifts in attitudes to same-sex relationships; changing social rituals for the celebration of relationships; same-sex relationships in literature; and the experience of children borne by gay and lesbian parents.