Monday, November 05, 2012

Sam Elworthy of AUP on NZ's biggest book for 2012

Last week when reviewing Random House's Big House Small House I said - New Zealand's biggest book in 2012?  It may well be as it weighs in at a massive 2.85 kg ! Another biggie from Random House - The Engine Room is a mere 1.90 kg .
Sam Elworthy has responded as follows:

Well I was hoping to put down the light weight publishing of the Random-Penguin-House with our forthcoming ANTHOLOGY OF NEW ZEALAND LITERATURE, but with the ANTHOLOGY weighing in at a mere 2.2kgs, I have to admit defeat on weight but will claim a page count victory. Our 1200 pages I think is going to be a NZ record for some time.

Anthology of New Zealand Literature - Edited by Jane Stafford and Mark Williams

‘What, after all, is the truth of a place that has only just been worked into language?’

From Polynesian Mythology to the Yates’ Garden Guide, from Allen Curnow to Alice Tawhai, from Jessie Mackay to Alison Wong, from Julius Vogel to Albert Wendt, from the letters of Wiremu Te Rangikaheke to the notebooks of Katherine Mansfield – Māori, Pākehā, Pasifika, and Asian New Zealanders have struggled for two and a half centuries to work the English language into some sort of truth about this place. The Auckland University Press Anthology of New Zealand Literature brings together for the first time in one volume this country’s major writing, from the earliest records of exploration and encounter to the globalised, multicultural present.
Editors Jane Stafford and Mark Williams range across novels and stories, poems and plays, letters and diaries, comics and songs to collect the defining stuff of our literary heritage. The contents will delight and provoke: Erewhon and The Heart of the Bush; Man Alone and ‘No Ordinary Sun’; The God Boy and Hicksville; ‘The Gumboot Song’ and The Vintner’s Luck. Through an imaginative selection and illuminating introductions, Stafford and Williams provide new paths into our writing and our country. For students and readers, at home and overseas, the Anthology of New Zealand Literature will be the indispensable introduction for years to come to what’s worth reading and why.

Jane Stafford is associate professor at Victoria University. She is the author (with Mark Williams) of Maoriland: New Zealand Literature 1872–1914 (VUP, 2006) and editor, with Anna Jackson, of Floating Worlds: Essays on Contemporary New Zealand Fiction (VUP, 2009). Stafford co-edited, alongside Mark Williams and Ralph Crane, ‘The World Novel to 1950’ volume ofThe Oxford History of the Novel in English.
Mark Williams is professor at Victoria University. His books include Post-colonial Literatures in English: Southeast Asia, New Zealand and the Pacific (G.K. Hall, 1996), Patrick White (St Martin's Press, 1993), and with Jenny Bornholdt and Gregory O'Brien the Montana Book Award-winning Anthology of New Zealand Poetry in English (Oxford University Press, 1997). He is co-author of Maoriland and co-editor of ‘The World Novel to 1950’ volume ofThe Oxford History of the Novel in English.


Geoff Churchman said...

I hate to think what the postage cost to anywhere overseas on one of either the Random or AUP book would be!

Samuel said...

Hi Geoff--for AUP, we have distributors in the UK, US and Australia who'll be stocking the book (it's featured in the Readings Summer Reading Guide in Australia), so easy for anyone overseas to get a hold of it. We reckon overseas sales will be pretty strong. Cheers, Sam

Anonymous said...

This anthology is a beached whale; one can only hope that a humane reviewer euthanases it.

- David Howard