Wednesday, September 28, 2011


A great book launch took place on Monday at Takapuna Library for Liz Benney’s The Last Jump with 70+ people in attendance. 
 The photo shows the wonderful Takapuna librarian Helen Woodhouse who’s done so much to promote books, Liz Benney and Gordon McLauchlan. Liz paid a generous tribute to Chris Cole Catley as an editor and mentor. Chris had published two previous books of hers: Seventy Something Acres ( 2006) and Reaching Summit Rock (1999).
Gordon McLauchlan kindly agreed to the following extract from his remarks.
This book is not really about horses – or even mainly about horses – it’s an exuberant memoir. It’s about a woman who was the fore-runner of many people in subsequent generations, particularly New Zealanders who have broken away from the isolation we older people grew up in.
Now we’re all over the place. Thousands of them take the New Zealanders’ resourcefulness that marks them wherever they go.
Elizabeth Benney is one of the trailblazers of these modern cosmopolitan New Zealanders. It’s clear from this book that although she has lived almost all her adult life in the United States – and that’s more than fifty years – and although she loves America and her life there she can’t get New Zealand out of her heart.
This memoir makes it clear how adaptable New Zealanders are. It is funny, very instructive the field of human relations, and unlike so many autobiographical books it is chatty and intensely personal. You get the sense that she’s telling you everything about herself and her life without coyness or haughtiness. Readers will get the feeling they are part of the extended Benney family. To achieve this without embarrassment to the writer or the reader is no mean feat, and I congratulate her on her achievement.
 There was also mention of the Ambury Park Centre for Riding Therapy in Mangere which works using horses with young people with a range of health and behaviour difficulties.  Gaynor Brown (Bernard’s wife) is the president. Liz has supported similar ventures in the States.
Publisher - Cape Catley.

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