Beautiful annuals, comics, beach reads, thought-provoking poetry - there is a diverse range of captivating New Zealand books coming out in 2016! Here are twenty one that we can't wait to read.
Gecko Annual Edited by Susan Paris and Kate De Goldi Gecko Press, October 2016
The Gecko Annual is a 136-page miscellany – a contemporary spin on the much-loved annuals we all remember, with a good dose of sophistication and subversiveness. We wanted to give 9-12 year olds – an age group currently under-served – a heady mix of fiction, comics, poetry, essays, how-to’s, art, games, satire, and a film script. It’s a feast of content that can be dipped into, pored over, returned to again and again - and like all good annuals this one has something for everyone in the family. The content has been commissioned exclusively from New Zealand writers and illustrators and introduces a number of new names – a feature that will be ongoing. It promises to be smart, dynamic, elegant and playful – a timeless and beautiful package thanks to the exemplary design and production values of Gecko Press. We can’t wait!
Mansfield and Me Sarah Laing Victoria University Press, October 2016
Sarah Laing's autobiographical comic, Mansfield and Me, charts her obsession with Katherine Mansfield.
"I’m quite interested in her transgressive behaviour – how she was like a punk in her time, how she had affairs and dabbled in the occult, reinventing herself over and over. I’m interested in how she defines what it means to be a writer in New Zealand, and how central she is to the notion that New Zealanders are good at writing short stories. The graphic novel is going to dovetail into a personal account, and I’ll use her experiences to explore my own parallel ones." -- New Zealand Listener Two minutes with Sarah Laing
Women of the Catlins: Life in the deep south Diana Noonan & Cris Antona Otago University Press, April 2016
A haunting, off-the-beaten-track destination, the little-known Catlins region of New Zealand is as mysterious today as it ever was. In this first in-depth look at the lives of its inhabitants, award-winning writer Diana Noonan and photographer Cris Antona collaborate to capture the thoughts and feelings of 26 women from this remote outpost. As the subjects speak for themselves on topics as diverse as family, work, isolation and their relationship with the environment, there is, at last, an opportunity for readers to enter into the heart of this rugged, unknown landscape where few venture and only the strongest make it home.
Under Italian Skies Nicky Pellegrino Hachette NZ, April 2016
Stella has life under control - and that's the way she likes it. For twenty-five years, she's been trusted assistant to a legendary fashion designer, but after her boss dies suddenly, she's left with nothing to do apart from clear the studio.
It seems as though the life she wanted has vanished. She is lost - until one day she finds a house swap website and sees a beautiful old villa in a southern Italian village. Could she really exchange her poky London flat for that?
But what was intended as just a break becomes much more, as Stella finds herself trying on a stranger's life. As the villa begins to get under her skin, she can't help but imagine the owner from the clues around her. She meets his friends, cooks the local food he recommends and follows suggestions to go to his favourite places. But can an idea of someone ever match up to the reality?
As Stella wonders if she can let go of the safety of her past, perhaps there's a chance for her to find a way into her future...
The Clockwork of Gods Eru J. Hart Huia Publishers, October 2016
The debut novel from one of Huia Publishers' Te Papa Tupu mentees, Eru Hart. The Clockwork of Gods follows the narrator from childhood through to adulthood, giving the reader a view into snapshots of his life and how each of these events – or non-events – shaped who he became. From late-night telly watching while the adults are asleep to grown-up struggles with unemployment and depression, Eru’s storytelling technique will grab the reader immediately, not wanting the quirky, sometimes dark-humoured, narrative to end.
Apirana Taylor Anahera Press, September 2016
In this love story by distinguished Māori writer Apirana Taylor, Puti and Mack, two people at the bottom of the heap, live out their hopeless lives in a haze of smoke and alcohol addiction, accompanied by a host of others eking out a barren existence on the fringes of society. Who will be redeemed and who will fail to get out alive?
In Love with These Times: The Flying Nun story Roger Shepherd HarperCollins, June 2016
Roger Shepherd was working in a Christchurch record shop when he realised the local bands he loved needed someone to make their records. Flying Nun was born.
Those records and the bands that created them them – The Chills, The Clean, Chris Knox and the Tall Dwarfs, The Verlaines, Sneaky Feelings, The Bats, Straitjacket Fits and many more – went on to define an era and create what became known as “the Dunedin Sound”.
In truth it was less a unified sound than a spirit of adventure and independence that characterised the Flying Nun ethos. In this long-awaited memoir, label founder Roger Shepherd describes the idealism and passion that drove the project in the first place, the hard realities of the music industry, and the constant tension between art and commerce.
Filled with revealing anecdote and insight, this is the definitive insider history of the one of the most innovative and original record labels of the modern era.
Maukatere: Floating Mountain Bernadette Hall Seraph Press, June 2016
Maukatere: Floating Mountain is a single long poem sequence set in the shadow of Maukatere (Mt Grey) in the Hurunui. The more experimental style is an exciting departure for one of New Zealand’s most eminent poets and winner of the 2015 Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement for poetry. It will be a handsome hand-bound and hand-numbered volume in a limited first edition of 170, featuring gorgeous drawings by Rachel O’Neill.
The Road to Ratenburg Joy Cowley Gecko Press, March 2016
Gecko Press will be celebrating Joy Cowley with all our hearts in 2016, her 80th birthday year – particularly during her Writers Week appearance at the Arts Festival. A new novel by Joy Cowley is always something to celebrate, and The Road to Ratenburg is no exception. It’s perfect for all confident readers, adventurers and travellers who enjoy a funny and character-filled tale. This ratty fable is illustrated by Gavin Bishop.
Love as a Stranger Owen Marshall Penguin Random House NZ, April 2016
Brilliantly tracing the progress of unexpected love and the perils of more relationships, this gripping novel is a tour de force.
Temporarily in Auckland while her husband is undergoing treatment, Sarah enjoys a walk in the coolness of the Symonds Street Cemetery. As she pauses at the grave of Emily Keeling, murdered in 1886 by a rejected suitor, a stranger named Hartley strikes up a conversation. Before long he arranges to meet Sarah for coffee. So their friendship begins, and soon blossoms into an affair, rich in mutual understanding and sexual excitement. But love may become obsession, which brings with it disquieting demands, even menace.
Spirit House Tusiata Avia Victoria University Press, May 2016
In Tusiata Avia’s new collection , the voices of the living and dead, the past and the present are woven together in poems that are both confessional and confrontational. Speaking from Samoa, Christchurch, Gaza, and New York – Avia’s fearless voice combines mythic with the everyday stories, never shying away from moments of pain nor strange wonder.
Allegiance of Honour Nalini Singh Hachette NZ
The unparalleled romantic adventure of Nalini Singh’s New York Times bestselling series continues as a new dawn begins for the Psy-Changeling world…
The Psy-Changeling world has undergone a staggering transformation and now stands at a crossroads. The Trinity Accord promises a new era of cooperation between disparate races and groups. It is a beacon of hope held together by many hands: Old enemies. New allies. Wary loners.
But a century of distrust and suspicion can’t be so easily forgotten and threatens to shatter Trinity from within at any moment. As rival members vie for dominance, chaos and evil gather in the shadows and a kidnapped woman’s cry for help washes up in San Francisco, while the Consortium turns its murderous gaze toward a child who is the embodiment of change, of love, of piercing hope: A child who is both Psy…and changeling.
To find the lost, protect the vulnerable—and save Trinity—no one can stand alone. This is a time of loyalty across divisions, of bonds woven into the heart and the soul, of heroes known and unknown standing back to back and holding the line. But is an allegiance of honor even possible with traitors lurking in their midst?
Mysterious Mysteries of the Aro Valley Danyl McLauchlan Victoria University Press, May 2016
Danyl McLauchlan follows up his 2013 cult hit novel, Unspeakable Secrets of the Aro Valley, with Mysterious Mysteries of the Aro Valley, a dark and forbidding comic farce.
"Aro Comic Noir just may become a literary cult of its own." - NZ Herald
"Unspeakable Secrets of the Aro Valley is promoted on its outside cover as “a classic Kiwi comic mystery erotic horror adventure novel” (“something I said as a joke to the publisher, and he stuck on the back of the book and wouldn’t take it off”). That certainly captures the novel’s entertainment quotient. But it’s also a clever book, tightly plotted and told in a manner something like a pastiche of Paul Auster writing a pastiche of Dan Brown." - NZ Listener
Pisces of Fate Paul Mannering Paper Road Press, April 2016
When Ascott Pudding’s parents died, he ran to the ends of the earth – or to the tropical Aardvark Archipelago, which is essentially the same thing. But distance is relative and now a retired god has turned up with more bad news: Ascott’s sister, Charlotte, is probably dying too.
Charlotte isn’t the only endangered Pudding. Before Ascott can go home and save his sister from uncertain death, he’ll have to escape a homicidal octopus, a migrating whale pod, and several varieties of pirate – not to mention the great secret of the Aardvark Archipelago.
It’s bigger than fish …
Much Ado About Shakespeare Donovan Bixley Upstart Press
Shakespeare’s life, told in his own words and beautifully illustrated by a great fan. Within these pages you’ll find a new interpretation of Shakespeare, which sheds light on his colourful and exuberant life and times. You won’t find the sainted genius – solemn with quill and ink-stained hand. High of brow he may have been, but never high-brow; never the snooty artist, locked away from the world – Shakespeare was in the thick of it. Much Ado About Shakespeare brings you the highs and lows, the tongue in cheek, the truth and imagination . . . the fantastical world of William Shakespeare in his own words and through the magnificent art of Donovan Bixley.
The Struggle for Māori Fishing Rights Brian Bargh Huia Publishers, March 2016
The Struggle for Māori Fishing Rights delves into the restoration of Māori fishing rights, rights that were ignored by the Crown from the time the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840. Although guaranteed by the Treaty, Māori struggled to re-establish these rights until the 1980s after years of argument in the courts.
Including interviews from key figures in the movement such as Sir Tipene O’Regan, Shane Jones and Sir Doug Kidd, and photographs of milestone events, The Struggle for Māori Fishing Rights reveals the strong tradition of the fairness and justice of New Zealand society who never gave up fighting for what was right.
New York Pocket Book Paula Green Seraph Press, April 2016
Much-loved poet Paula Green turns her thoughtfulness and linguistic playfulness in a new direction in her latest collection, which is at once a reflective journey around a new city, while also being a poetic essay on the nature of poetry.
The Salted Air Thom Conroy Penguin Random House NZ, May 2016
28 year-old Djuna is without a foothold. The suicide of her partner has left her derailed and casting about for the joy she fears may be gone for good. Her parents' relationship has disintegrated, her family home is occupied by Burmese refugees, and she is drawn to the one man she must reject.
In pursuit of a roving father and a renewed sense of belonging, Djuna wanders from Wellington to the natural beauty of New Zealand's remote East Cape. Narrated in vivid, confessional vignettes, The Salted Air tells a story of transgression, love and hope.
Beside Herself Chris Price Auckland University Press, March 2016
‘All of my best lines are accidents’, Chris Price writes in this book, and proceeds to prove that she has the knack of putting herself in harm’s way and the skill to build from there.
Beside Herself plays with character, and with language, and with the way the one works on the other. Pronouns and personae shift and dance in this book in the same way that meanings do – unexpectedly. Price has always been attentive to the unlooked-for delights of language – she is a master of the riddling word-play poem – and uses this play in the service of something larger, an exploration of character and persona and perspective: ‘I am every character – every, every character’. These characters appear from a variety of times, places and fictions – Richard III, Hamlet, three readers (one a writer), Richard Nunns and Miss Bethell – from contemporary Wellington to medieval England. The longer sequence ‘The Book of Churl’ is the narrative of medieval everyman; another long poem, ‘Beside Yourself’, is both a battle against the relentless first-person pronoun and a celebration of it, in ramshackle poem-diary form.
Three Words: An Anthology of Aotearoa/NZ Women's Comics Edited by Rae Joyce, Sarah Laing, Indira Neville Beatnik Publishing, March 2016
Women in Aoteroa New Zealand make comics. They make slick professional comics and homemade crafty ones. some are conventionally attractive and some are beautifully ugly. Some have logical linear narratives and some are cerebral visual leaping swirls. There are big proud comics and small humble ones, widely distributed comics and one-offs, comics that are deep and meaningful and some that are light and silly. There are physical, emotional and intellectual comics, intentional and accidental comics, happy, sad, funny, angry, scary, confusing and wondrous comics.
For some it may be a surprise to find so many comics by women cartoonists, since conventional wisdom would have us believe that the comics scene is a boys’ club. But it’s not a surprise to us. Although women’s comics haven’t been represented much in New Zealand history books, they have been found in zines and magazines, tumblrs, twitter feeds, shoe boxes, art galleries, painted on old tea trays and brochures, magneted to fridges, tattooed on forearms. And now they’re also here. In this book. A whole bunch of them, up front, visible, available and MAKING HISTORY.
At the Edge Edited by Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray Paper Road Press, June 2016
A new Australasian sci-fi anthology from the award-winning editors of Baby Teeth: Bite-sized Tales of Terror.
Table of Contents (unordered):
Joanne Anderton, “Street Furniture” Richard Barnes, “The Great and True Journey” Carlington Black, “The Urge” A.C. Buchanan, “And Still the Forests Grow though We are Gone” Octavia Cade, “Responsibility” Shell Child, “Narco” Jodi Cleghorn , “The Leaves No Longer Fall” Debbie Cowens, “Hood of Bone” Tom Dullemond, “One Life, No Respawns” A.J. Fitzwater, “Splintr” Jan Goldie, “Little Thunder” J.C. Hart, “Hope Lies North” Martin Livings, “Boxing Day” Phillip Mann, “The Architect” Paul Mannering, “The Island at the End of the World” Keira McKenzie, “In Sacrifice We Hope” Eileen Mueller, “Call of the Sea” Anthony Panegyres, “Crossing” A.J. Ponder, “BlindSight” David Stevens, “Crop Rotation” David Versace, “Seven Excerpts from Season One” Summer Wigmore, “Back when the River had No Name” E.G. Wilson, “12-36”