150PP | 220mm x 145mm
Richard von Sturmer is one of New Zealand’s most versatile artists. He has written hit pop songs, acted in a famous feature film, made his own movies, published acclaimed books of poetry and prose, and lectured and written about Zen Buddhism. In This Explains Everything von Sturmer reveals some of the origins of his creativity and restlessness by telling the stories of two members of his family. He describes his grandfather Ernest von Sturmer’s adventures in Australia’s Western Desert, where he tried to make his fortune during the Great Depression by prospecting for minerals. Ernest von Sturmer’s near suicidal journeys gave him a reputation: an outback policeman once refused to shake the explorer’s hand, for fear that he might be a ghost.
Von Sturmer recalls an alternatively idyllic and eerie childhood on Auckland’s North Shore, on a strip of half-rural land between the volcanic waters of Lake Pupuke and the Waitemata harbour. Von Sturmer celebrates his father, a man who struggled with guilt and depression, yet also loved to play surreal games and hatch complicated jokes. This Explains Everything ends with a series of poems and song lyrics that bring together many parts of the von Sturmer family story.
“This is a gorgeous and poignant book, an intensely personal story of family love and yearning that also speaks to the formation of the imaginative self. Richard von Sturmer is the best New Zealand memoirist since Martin Edmond.” – Anne Kennedy
“This is beautiful writing; dream-like, precise, magnificent.” – Don McGlashan
222PP | 115 colour reproductions | 210mm x 180mm
A memoir told in the painter’s own words, selected from her private journals and letters, Emily Jackson: A Painter’s Landscape reveals the inner life of a passionate and driven artist as well as giving an insightful glimpse into the Auckland art scene of the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s.
Mentored by Colin McCahon to ‘paint abstract landscapes in a very free way,’ Jackson created radiant and brooding paintings, which though reminiscent of her contemporary Toss Woollaston, were stylistically very much her own.
Jackson’s paintings are characterised by a sense of not quite being in a landscape, but of having been in one. Their movement is that of drifting, in memory, through different territories. At the same time, they are an energetic embrace of the moment of their making.
“New Zealand’s most under-appreciated neo-expressionist.”—Warwick Brown”
“Jackson’s paintings are tumultuous, unbridled and infused with passion and intelligence.”—Gregory O’Brien”
“Work remarkable in any company of New Zealand landscape painting.”—T.J. McNamara”
444PP | 225mm x 150mm
With its unusual breadth and depth, this book is the harvest of a lifetime of thinking about the arts and media in New Zealand by someone with ‘a knowledge’ (says Murray Edmond) ‘that combines industry practice with academic insight in a way that is unrivalled in New Zealand.’
The book reflects on the huge changes to our culture produced by the hippie upheaval of the 1960s, new forms of feminism, the Māori renaissance, radical styles of philosophy, economic extremism, and the digital age. Such changes have transformed our literature, visual arts, music, film, and television, and re-invented our sense of place. The book offers insights into each of those arts and each of those themes.
A personal memoir by the author sets the scene for this richly varied selection of 21 essays, from 1983 to 2016.
“These essays are seminal contributions, central to the major intellectual and cultural changes that define the New Zealand we live in today.” – Wystan Curnow
324PP | 240mm x 160mm
To read this selection from Murray Edmond’s essays, reviews, interviews and letters is to take a ride through forty years of New Zealand’s cultural, social and political history. Discussions of esoteric art theories, polemical interventions in literary spats, eyewitness accounts of political tumult, and anecdotes from the author’s private life are equally at home in this book, as Edmond carries us from the revolutionary era of his youth into the world of the twenty-first century.
“Gathered together I think they make one of the most important contributions to a critical writing we have seen in this country for some decades.” – Peter Simpson
161PP | 205mm x 150mm
The Gold Leaves is a study of ancient (c.400BC-300AD) verses, often fragmentary, incised on fragile gold leaves that have been found (and continue to be found) buried in graves and tombs in the culturally Greek parts of the Mediterranean world. These leaves have been placed carefully, perhaps on the chest, or in the mouth or in the hand, of the body. The leaves are messages designed to guide the souls of the dead on their journey to immortality and paradise.
Jenner has provided his own translation of a selected number of the texts on the gold leaves. He brings his skill as a poet to these translations. [ … ] For me the book is finally a book about poetry, about its potential and its limits, about its “charm” (in the sense of magic). – Murray Edmond
Selected and introduced by Jack Ross. Including the poem ‘Instead Of, In Memory’ by David Howard
The Millerton Sequences represent the very best work from the second half of ex-Anglican minister Leicester Kyle’s writing career: the Millerton period, dating roughly from his departure from Auckland in April 1998, after the death of his first wife Miriel, to his own death in Christchurch in July 2006.
Beginning with a short sequence founded in Leicester’s expert knowledge of Botany, ‘Five Flowers at Millerton Mine'; the selection moves on to ‘Picnic In The Mangatini,’ which is probably as close as Leicester ever got to a straightforward set of “nature” poems; thence to a meditative evocation of place, ‘Rain,’ then to a work of ecological protest against the proposed strip-mining of the Millerton plateau, ‘Death of a Landscape'; then a searching personal confession, written towards the very end of his life, ‘The Catheter Club'; and lastly to ‘Rain Poems,’ which, in aggregate, sound like a bittersweet farewell to the West Coast and its weather.
Foreword by Noam Chomsky. Introduction by Dr Steven Ratuva.
Oceania: neocolonialism, nukes and bones is a critical appraisal of the destructive consequences of colonialism and later neocolonialism and how they have reshaped and undermined the very essence of Pacific humanity. It provides a rather uncomfortable but justifiably powerful moral message that the perils of Oceania need drawing attention to for the future survival of Pacific peoples and cultures who, isolated from the main centres of global power, are often relegated to the margins of development and progress.
[ … ] It is destined to be a journalistic masterpiece, laced with a deep sense of morality and commitment for the betterment of a forgotten part of the world. – Dr Steven Ratuva
“BEHIND THE TATTOOED FACE, A STRANGER STANDS. HE OWNS THE EARTH. HE IS WHITE.”
Vaughan Rapatahana’s first novel is a rollicking road trip through the ‘skinny country’ where a guerilla war is raging between Indigenous rebels and a Pakeha government controlled by foreign interests.
Redneck assassins, secret-agents, biker gangs and feminist groups all cross paths as Mahon, an ex-university philosophy lecturer, and his gun ‘Molly’ blast their way across the country in a black Mark IV.
While homage is paid to Vaughan Rapatahana’s existential and postmodern heroes, the voice is indubitably his own: sardonic, hectic, eclectic, at times laugh-out-loud funny and always deliciously subversive. – James Norcliffe
This book collects six essays in which the late Tongan intellectual ‘I. Futa Helu considers the traditional poetry of his country. As well as guiding readers through the long and intricate history of Tongan verse, the polymathic Helu offers a series of fascinating asides on subjects like the evolution of language, the seafaring exploits of ancient Polynesians, the impact of Christianity on Tonga, and the lessons that English literary giants like Wordsworth and Blake could have learned from their Tongan counterparts.
“There in Waihi, with its toil and its treasure Men’s lives are squandered while earning a crust”
This song was sung by residents of the Coromandel goldmining settlement of Waihi (“Waiheathens”) in the first years of the 20th century. It is one of several authentic impressions of the town compiled in this book, including some that are rare or previously unpublished. Waiheathens has been produced to coincide with the centenary of the 1912 miner’s strike which turned Waihi into a battleground and resulted in the violent death of one striker.
The book includes colour reproductions of the exhibition of paintings titled “Gold Strike”, by Wellington artist Bob Kerr, which was also inspired by the Waihi strike.
Waiheathens gives voice to a community and historical events which are unique in New Zealand, yet remain intensely significant to the entire country.