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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.

Read more »

Release: Vaughan Rapatahana’s ‘Novel’

New novel, ‘Novel,’ by Vaughan Rapatahana 

Published by Rangitawa Publishing, August 2018.

ISBN 9780995104662

320 pages trade paperback or on Kindle.

screen-shot-2018-09-26-at-09-22-30The rapidly developing action in ‘Novel’ straddles Aotearoa New Zealand, Hong Kong SAR, Philippines and beyond. In our contemporary world of increasing electronic surveillance from hegemonic national administrations, several diverse characters struggle to survive to resist in a variety of ways. At the same time the so-called established methods of writing fiction undergo deconstruction.

    Vaughan Rapatahana is an international award winning poet and literary critic.

“With its range of exotic settings and even more exotic characters, ‘Novel’ is a switchback ride written in Rapatahana’s inimitable switchblade prose. A violent murder in a rural New Zealand meat works is the catalyst for a series of fast moving events that ultimately have geopolitical consequences involving the struggles of dispossessed people and the shady efforts of the powers that be to thwart them.”

James Norcliffe – leading New Zealand poet and novelist.

Novel is available from Rangitawa Publishing, Amazon, Wheelers Book Club (online) and by request from any good book shop. RRP NZ$38 + postage.

Release: New Literary Foundation

A new Foundation established by the Auckland Writers Festival aims to strengthen Aotearoa’s literary landscape.

matatuhiSeptember 18: The Mātātuhi Foundation, launched this evening, will provide opportunities for New Zealand writers to develop and promote their works and for readers to increase their engagement with the work of local writers and will fund activities that contribute to literacy in this country.

Auckland Writers Festival Chair, Pip Muir says the launch of the Mātātuhi Foundation is the next step in the realisation of a long-held dream.

“When the Festival began almost 20 years’ ago, meetings were held around a kitchen table. Since then, the appetite to engage with writers from New Zealand and around the world has grown exponentially and with it the opportunity to deepen our commitment to our literary landscape.

“It is absolutely fantastic that the Festival has reached a point where it can further contribute to the national reading and writing community. We are thrilled to be able support the nation’s literature with the launch of this ground-breaking initiative.

The Foundation will operate independently of the Auckland Writers Festival Trust and initially aims to make up to ten one-off grants of $2000 – $5000 per year whilst building an endowment platform to support its long-term endeavours.

Inaugural Committee members are professional director and senior finance executive Anne Blackburn (Chair), writer and academic Paula Morris, Festival Trust Board Chair and lawyer Pip Muir, Auckland Writers Festival Director Anne O’Brien and country head of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and Book Council board member Peter Vial.

Ms Blackburn says she relishes the opportunity to work with an organisation that supports New Zealand literature.

“I very much look forward to receiving applications from groups that seek to engage more readers and also from our writers, whose words and ideas enrich our lives.”

Applicants are invited to submit expressions of interest twice a year, with deadlines of 31 October and 31 May.

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