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New books

Harlow_moon_thumbnailThe Moon in a Bowl of Water

Michael Harlow

Bound together by myth and music, Michael Harlow’s The Moon in a Bowl of Water is a stunning new collection from a poet in complete control of his craft. Harlow is the maestro of the prose poem. Here he presents a collection of small human journeys, with a strong emphasis on narrative. The work is consciously rooted in Greek mythology and in the idea of storytelling as a continuous river, flowing from the ancients to the present, telling one story on the surface, but carrying in its depths the glints of ancient archetypes, symbols and myths. Each poem is studded with associations that hark back millennia.

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Clarke Otago cover for webOtago
150 years of New Zealand's First University

Alison Clarke

The University of Otago has always taken pride in its status as New Zealand’s first university. Alison Clarke has consulted and researched widely to produce a forthright and fascinating account.

This history is arranged thematically, looking at the university’s foundation and administration; the evolving student body; the staff; the changing academic structure and the development of research; the Christchurch and Wellington campuses and the university’s presence in Auckland and Invercargill; key support services – libraries, press, student health and counselling, disability services, Māori Centre and Pacific Islands Centre; the changing styles of teaching; the university’s built environment; and finally, the university’s place in the world – its relationship with the city of Dunedin, its interaction with mana whenua and its importance to New Zealand and to the Pacific.

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Peat Wanaka cover for webWanaka
Lake, Mountain, Adventure

Neville Peat

Neville Peat describes the scenic splendour of Wanaka and the myriad activities and attractions for visitors in this updated edition of a book that serves as both a guide to one of New Zealand’s tourism hotspots, and as a souvenir.

The book covers the history of the Wanaka area and its progress into a contemporary centre renowned for an exciting range of outdoor activities and regular events, including the internationally recognised Warbirds Over Wanaka air show. Further material offers a guide to local walking and cycling tracks, local flora and fauna, and Mt Aspiring National Park.

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Cooper cover for webFilming the Colonial Past
The New Zealand Wars on Screen

Annabel Cooper

The New Zealand Wars were defining events in the nation’s history. Filming the Colonial Past, an engaging new book from Annabel Cooper, tells a story of filmmakers’ fascination with these conflicts over the past 90 years. From silent screen to smartphone, and from Pākehā adventurers to young Māori songwriters, filmmakers have made and remade the stories of this most troubling past.

Each of these productions is a snapshot of a complex cultural moment. In examining this history, Annabel Cooper illuminates a fascinating path of cultural change through successive generations of filmmakers.

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Bunce front cover thumbnailSlippery Jim or Patriotic Statesman?
James Macandrew of Otago

R.J. Bunce

This is a biography of one of New Zealand’s most colourful and persuasive politicians. When James Macandrew arrived in Dunedin from Scotland in 1851, other settlers were impressed by his energy and enthusiasm for new initiatives. With his finger in a lot of commercial pies, he set about making himself a handsome income which he eventually lost, declaring himself bankrupt and ending up in a debtors’ prison for a time. Politics became another enterprise at which he threw himself with a passion.

Macandrew made plenty of enemies along the way, and has been severely judged by history. This re-examination of his life and political work reveals a man who both inspired and infuriated the citizens of Otago, and New Zealand, for almost four decades.

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Bell front cover thumbnailThe Unconventional Career of Dr Muriel Bell

Diana Brown

Appointed New Zealand’s first state nutritionist in 1940, a position she held for almost a quarter-century, Muriel Bell was behind ground-breaking public health schemes such as milk in schools, iodised salt and water fluoridation. As a lecturer in physiology from 1923 to 1927, she had been one of the first women academics at Otago Medical School. The second woman in New Zealand to be awarded the research degree of Doctor of Medicine (MD), in 1926, her subsequent pioneering research on vitamins and minerals helped to prevent deficiency diseases, and later, optimise health. Bell’s early research into fats and cholesterol tackled the complexity of nutrition- related aspects of coronary heart disease.

Muriel Bell was a trailblazer by anyone’s definition, unswervingly committed to the understanding that ‘we are what we eat’; that nutrition is a cornerstone of individual and public health. Diana Brown tells the story of this extraordinary woman in this long-overdue biography.

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Wilton_cover_thumbnailMy Body, My Business
New Zealand sex workers in an era of change

Caren Wilton
with photographs by Madeleine Slavick

In My Body, My Business, 11 former and current New Zealand sex workers speak frankly, in their own voices, about their lives in and out of the sex industry. Their stories are by turns eye-opening, poignant, heartening, disturbing and compelling.

Based on a series of oral history interviews by Caren Wilton, My Body, My Business includes the stories of female, male and transgender workers; Māori and Pākehā; street workers, workers in massage parlours and upmarket brothels, escorts, strippers, private workers and dominatrices, spanning a period from the 1960s to today. Three of the 11 interviewees still work in the industry. Several have been involved with the New Zealand Prostitutes’ Collective, including long-time national co-ordinator Dame Catherine Healy.

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hudson_halls_cover_smallHudson & Halls
The food of love

Jo Drayton

Hudson & Halls: The food of love is more than just a love story. It is a tale of two television chefs who helped change the bad attitudes of a nation in the 1970s and 80s to that unspoken thing – homosexuality.

Peter Hudson and David Halls became reluctant role models for a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ generation of gay men and women who lived by omission. They were also captains of a culinary revolution that saw the overthrow of Aunty Daisy and and the beginnings of Pacific-rich, Asian- styled international cuisine.

Hudson and Halls were pioneers of celebrity television who rocketed to stardom on untrained talent and a dream. In this fast-paced and meticulously researched book, New York Times-bestselling author Joanne Drayton celebrates the legacy of this unforgettable duo.

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webster_cover_thumbnailFlu Hunter
Unlocking the secrets of a virus

Robert G. Webster

When a new influenza virus emerges that is able to be transmitted between humans, it spreads globally as a pandemic, often with high mortality. Enormous social disruption and substantial economic cost can result.

The 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic was undoubtedly the most devastating influenza pandemic to date, and it has been Dr Robert Webster’s life’s work to figure out how and why. In so doing he has made a remarkable contribution to our understanding of the evolution of influenza viruses and how to control them. A century on, Flu Hunter is a gripping account of the tenacious scientific detective work involved in revealing the secrets of this killer virus.

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mcqueen_cover_poetaPoeta
Selected and new poems

Cilla McQueen

Born in 1949, Bluff-based Cilla McQueen is one of New Zealand’s best-loved poets. Poeta: Selected and New Poems brings together a definitive selection of her poetry spanning five decades, arranged by the poet in a thematic narrative that elucidates abiding themes while maintaining a loose chronology of her creative life to date.

Poeta gathers together poems from the poet’s 14 previous volumes, punctuated by 11 striking drawings, and also includes a range of new work that shows her riddling creativity continuing to grow and evolve. Collectively, the poems demonstrate a versatile and diligent wordsmith never content to sit on her laurels, ever experimenting and improving in her attempt to write the world’s poem.

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pointer-cover-smallThe Farewell Tourist

Alison Glenny

Pushing against the boundaries of what poetry might be, Alison Glenny’s The Farewell Tourist is haunting, many-layered and slightly surreal.

In The Magnetic Process sequence a man and a woman inhabit a polar world, adrift in zones of divergence, where dreams are filled with snow, icebergs, and sinking ships. Their scientific instruments and observations measure a fragmented and uncertain space where conventional perspectives are violated. In a series of histories – of the Atmosphere, of the Honeymoon – footnotes reference vanished texts. By turns mysterious, ominous and evocative, they represent connections to an obscured narrative of disintegration and icy melancholy.

Bill Manhire, judge of the 2018 Kathleen Grattan Award, has written:

There is an elegance and poise and care in the language of these poems, an unobtrusive mastery and ease in their cadences and rhythms. Here is writing so close to the sound of how our speech usually arranges itself, and yet set with a hard delicacy that makes it quite something else – memorable, direct, focused to the movement of how the poems present both thought and feeling.

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pointer-cover-smallNiue and the Great War

Margaret Pointer

The story of tiny Niue’s involvement in the Great War has captivated people since an account was first published by Margaret Pointer in 2000. In 1915, 160 Niuean men joined the New Zealand Expeditionary Force as part of the Maori Reinforcements and set sail to Auckland and then Egypt and France. Most had never left the island before, or worn shoes before. Most spoke no English. Most significantly, they had no immunity to European disease. Within three months of leaving New Zealand, over 80 per cent of them had been hospitalised and the army authorities withdrew them.

Margaret Pointer became involved in research to trace the lost story of Niue’s involvement in World War I while living on the island in the 1990s. The resulting book, Tagi Tote e Loto Haaku: My Heart is Crying a Little, was published in 2000. Her research has continued since, and Niue and the Great War contains much new material together with new photographs. This moving story has now been set in a wider Pacific context and also considers the contribution made by colonial troops, especially ‘coloured’ ones, to the Allied effort.

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Eggleton-cover-smallEdgeland and other poems

David Eggleton

The poetry in David Eggleton’s new collection possesses an intensity and driven energy, using the poet’s recognisable signature oratory voice, strong in beat and measure, rooted in rich traditions of chant, lament and ode. Mashing together the lyrical and the slangy, celebrating local vernaculars while simultaneously plugged in to a global zeitgeist of technobabble and fake news, Eggleton recycles and ‘repurposes’ high visual culture and demotic aural culture.

Edgeland is a dazzling display of polychromatic virtuosity, teeming with irrepressible wordplay, startling imagery and anarchic wit, from one of New Zealand’s best-loved poets.

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Leadbeater-front-cover-smallSee No Evil
New Zealand's betrayal of the people of West Papua

Maire Leadbeater

See No Evil issues a challenge to New Zealanders. The book begins by relating the little-known history of West Papua, but its focus is on the impact of New Zealand’s foreign policy on the indigenous Melanesian inhabitants. In the 1950s New Zealand supported self-determination for the former Dutch colony, but in 1962 opted to back Indonesia as it took over the territory.

See No Evil is a shocking account by one of New Zealand’s most respected authors on peace and Pacific issues, issuing a powerful call for a just and permanent solution – self-determination – for the people of West Papua.
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