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Release: NZ and the Sea

New Zealand and the Sea – A major new history from Bridget Williams Books

19 October 2018

New Zealand’s history has been dominated by the presence of the ocean. Until very recently, everyone who came to New Zealand did so after long weeks at sea. Even today, most people live near the coast. The sea provides employment, transport and leisure; it is at the forefront of our imaginations, and days at the beach are, for many, synonymous with summer and childhood.

Yet when we think about history, we readily imagine it from the land. Our stories of the past take place in towns and cities, across farmlands, in the mountains and the bush. When the sea appears at all, it is a temporary barrier, an interruption to pass over quickly.

New Zealand and the Sea marks a significant new direction in historical thinking about this country.
It explores New Zealand’s relationship with the sea across many facets of life, from early origins until the present day, and challenges the conventional belief that history unfolds on land.

This volume brings together leading and emerging scholars to highlight the dynamic, ocean-centred history of these islands and their inhabitants, offering fresh and fascinating perspectives on New Zealand’s past to open up our thinking about our places and nation.

Contributors: Atholl Anderson, Tony Ballantyne, Julie Benjamin, Douglas Booth, Chris Brickell, Peter Gilderdale, David Haines, Susann Liebich, Alison MacDiarmid, Ben Maddison, Angela McCarthy, Grace Millar, Damon Salesa, Jonathan Scott, Frances Steel, Michael J. Stevens, Jonathan West

About the Editor: Frances Steel, a New Zealander, teaches at the University of Wollongong. Her research connects histories of empire, mobility and the sea in the Pacific World. She is the author of Oceania under Steam: Sea Transport and the Cultures of Colonialism, c.1870–1914 (Manchester University Press, 2011), and with Julia Martinez, Claire Lowrie and Victoria Haskins, Colonialism and Male Domestic Service across the Asia Pacific (Bloomsbury, 2018).

NZ Book Awards Trust News

11 October 2018


The New Zealand Book Awards Trust is calling for expressions of interest from children’s literature advocates who’d like to be considered as judges of the 2019 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.

A total of five English language judges will be appointed to deliberate over an expected 150 entries in five categories: Junior Fiction (the Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Award), Young Adult Fiction, Non-Fiction (the Elsie Locke Award), Picture Book and Illustration (the Russell Clark Award). The Wright Family Foundation Te Kura Pounamu Award, for books entirely written in te reo Māori, is judged by a separate panel appointed by Te Rōpū Whakahau.

Jeannie Skinner, a facilitator with the National Library’s Services to Schools and convenor of the 2018 judges, shares her experience:
“As a judge, I had to read beyond my usual personal preferences and read more critically and thoughtfully. There was also the pleasure in discovering new authors and having lots of bookish conversations with my wonderful fellow judges.”
Inspired to put your hat in the ring or know someone else who would be ideal for the role? You’ll find full details and expressions of interest forms on our website. Applications close on November 5.


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Release: My Body, My Business

My Body Cover

‘MY BODY, My Business: New Zealand sex workers in an era of change’
by Caren Wilton: Otago University Press


I have often thought of the world of sex work as a world apart, a secret world that can only be entered by those who have been given the special key, or who know and utter a secret word. Then the walls dissolve, the curtains are pulled back, and the secret world is revealed as not so secret after all, as just another part of this world, just a breath or a step away. Ordinary, and yet not. A world that leaves its mark on those who have been there, so they recognise each other as fellow travellers in a place others don’t always understand.” Caren Wilton

In My Body, My Business: New Zealand sex workers in an era of change, 11 sex workers share their stories of their time in the industry. Wilton spent many, many hours with her subjects, drawing out their varied experiences, from being pelted with bottles and rotten eggs on the street to being entrapped by police to fulfilling people’s fantasies as a dominatrix. The stories are told in the first person and are at times sad, funny, inspiring and illuminating – but always compelling. They combine to unveil the ‘secret world’ of New Zealand’s sex industry.

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.

Wilton describes the many political and social changes that have affected the New Zealand sex industry over time, the most profound of these being the decriminalisation of prostitution in 2003.

Wilton tells the remarkable story of the driving force that saw New Zealand become the first – and only – country to decriminalise its sex industry.

Caren WiltonCaren Wilton is a Wairarapa-based oral historian,  writer and editor. She won three New Zealand Oral History Awards for the interviews with sex workers My Body, My Business is based on. She co-ordinated an oral history project focusing on Upper Hutt in the 1960s for Upper Hutt City Library in 2015–16 and is the author of short-fiction collection The Heart Sutra (Otago University Press, 2003).

Award-winning photographer Madeleine Slavick’s 16 striking shots complement Wilton’s interviews. Madeleine has exhibited her work internationally and has written several photography, poetry and non-fiction books.

MY BODY, My Business: New Zealand sex workers in an era of change
by Caren Wilton: Otago University Press. Coming in November.

Release: NZ at Frankfurt Book Fair

NZ Publishers gear up for the world’s largest book fair

Media Release, 5 October 2018: Publishers Assn of NZ

New Zealand publishers are gearing up for the most important book event of the year, the Frankfurt Book Fair.  For five days from 10 October, publishers, agents and authors from all over the world converge to deal in rights and talk books.  With more than 7100 exhibitors from over 100 countries attending the fair this year, the opportunities for rights sales and forging new important publishing relationships are endless.

New Zealand publishers have steadily cemented a firm and respected place at the fair, riding high on the back of being Guest of Honour in 2012. This year, nine publishers from commercial and educational areas of New Zealand publishing will share the collective stand under the PANZ (Publishers Association of New Zealand) banner.

PANZ President and Publisher at Oratia Media, Peter Dowling is expecting another rewarding Frankfurt Book Fair with the usual hectic four days of meetings, deals and dinners promoting New Zealand books and authors.  “Planning for the fair has been going on all year, since doing well at Frankfurt is critical for international publishing.”

“PANZ is fortunate to have the support of Creative New Zealand and Education New Zealand to promote our literature and educational publishing internationally. With help from these two agencies, we’ve worked hard to expand New Zealand’s global presence over the last year, adding two new book fairs to our roster alongside Frankfurt — the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in March, and the Guadalajara International Book Fair in November.”

The fair also connects the PANZ with the International Publishers Association (IPA), which focuses on protecting copyright and freedom of expression worldwide. Auckland University Press Director, Sam Elworthy is currently an Executive Committee member of the IPA, and will attend its AGM along with PANZ Director Catriona Ferguson.

The Publishers Association of New Zealand gratefully acknowledge the support of Creative New Zealand and Education New Zealand.


New Books From VUP

New Books from Victoria University Press

3 October 2018

Memory Pieces, by Maurice Gee

Memory Pieces is an intimate and evocative memoir in three parts.

‘Double Unit’ tells the story of Maurice Gee’s parents – Lyndahl Chapple Gee, a talented writer who for reasons that become clear never went on with a writing career, and Len Gee, a boxer, builder, and man’s man.

‘Blind Road’ is Gee’s story up to the age of eighteen, when his apprenticeship as a writer began.

‘Running on the Stairs’ tells the story of Margaretha Garden, beginning in 1940, the year of her birth, when she travelled with her mother Greta from Nazi-sympathising Sweden to New Zealand, through to her meeting Maurice Gee when they were working together in the Alexander Turnbull Library in 1967.


The Ice Shelf by Anne Kennedy

On the eve of flying to Antarctica to take up an arts fellowship, thirty-something Janice, recently separated, has a long night of remembrance, regret and realisation as she goes about the city looking for a friend to take care of her fridge while she’s away. En route she discards section after section of her manuscript in the spirit of editing The Ice Shelf into a stronger, sleeker work of literature.

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