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Comer front cover thumbnailThe Braided River: Migration and the personal essay

Diane Comer

A migrant lives in the space between self and other. The personal essay expresses this sense of location – and dislocation – the way no other genre does.

The first book to examine migration through the lens of the personal essay, The Braided River presents migration as a lifelong experience that affects everything from language, home, work, family and friendship to finances, citizenship and social benefits. The Braided River explores contemporary migration to New Zealand through an examination of 200 personal essays written by 37 migrants from 20 different countries, spanning all ages and life stages.

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davidson_cover_smallDead Letters: Censorship and subversion in New Zealand 1914–1920

Jared Davidson

Dead Letters: Censorship and subversion in New Zealand 1914–1920 reveals the remarkable stories of people caught in the web of wartime surveillance. Intimate and engaging, this dramatic narrative weaves together the personal and political, bringing to light the reality of wartime censorship.

In an age of growing state power, new forms of surveillance and control, and fragility of the right to privacy and freedom of opinion, Dead Letters is a startling reminder that we have been here before.

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Brookes_cover_thumbnailPast Caring? Women, work and emotion

Edited by Barbara Brookes, Jane McCabe and Angela Wanhalla


Are women past caring? Care is essential to social relationships and individual well-being. It is woven into New Zealand’s key social institutions, such as the family, and is also embedded in societal expectations around state provision of health and welfare. Care is so vital, in fact, that it is often taken for granted and goes unnoticed and unrewarded.

Historical and philosophical enquiry have largely ignored the issue of care, yet it raises profound questions about gender, justice and morality. The essays in this volume raise those questions directly – at the level of abstraction where prominent New Zealand women philosophers grappled with the political implications, and on the ground at the level of family relationships.

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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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