Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Good Dog!

Good Dog!

New Zealand writers on dogs


3 October - RHNZ Vintage b-RRP $35.00
Good Dog! is proof that New Zealand writers from past and present have canine muses. Here we have dog as metaphor, dog as accomplice…More than anything else, as our closest companion species, dogs show us who we really are.”
 — Stephanie Johnson, Auckland, 2016


Dogs have had a bad rap lately. A reputation for biting; behaving badly. But cats have had
it worse, and are about to be legislated off the streets at night. Dogs, by contrast, are on
the proverbial long lead, thanks to their constancy and co-evolution with humans; beguiling
their way into that special place in our hearts. As Joe Bennett once wryly commented, ‘The
correct way to teach your dog not to climb onto your bed is to sleep on the floor.’

Good Dog! editor Stephanie Johnson has enjoyed the company of dogs for much of her
life, including latest incumbent beloved Blue-Heeler Tinka. Like her fellow writers and their
dogs, who feature in this collection, her canine relationships have endured through good
times and bad. The poetry, short stories, slices of novels and non-fiction that are shared
in this volume glimpse dogs as companion, philosopher, worker and comedian. Much like
their owners.

Johnson brings together 36 New Zealand writers – both established and emerging –
who in more than 40 pieces of writing share their unique take on their canine muses;
revealing much of themselves in the process. Here, we meet in word and a scattering of
photographic images, Kevin Ireland’s little hound Mighty Sid, Sue Orr’s Lakeland terrier
Buddy, and Michele Leggott’s guide dog Olive. We also reacquaint ourselves with the
work of many of New Zealand’s foremost writers, including CK Stead, Sam Hunt, Vincent
O’Sullivan, Fiona Kidman, Paula Morris and Alison Wong.

Satirical, sad, funny, vicious, poignant, Good Dog! avoids cute clichés to explore and
encapsulate the special relationship humans have with their dogs. Published as a
companion volume to bestselling anthology The Cat’s Whiskers, edited by Peter Wells
(Vintage 2005) about cats and their literary owners, Good Dog! is a funky, fresh and
admirable piece of publishing. And a devilishly handsome one, too.

mation contact: Sarah Thornton

09 479 8763

More about Stephanie Johnson

Stephanie Johnson is the author of several collections of poetry and short stories, works for stage and screen, and many fine novels. The Shag Incident won the Montana Deutz Medal for Fiction in 2003, and Belief was shortlisted for the same award. Stephanie has also won the Bruce Mason Playwrights Award and Katherine Mansfield Fellowship,
and was the 2001 Literary Fellow at the University of Auckland. Several of her novels have been published in Australia, America and the United Kingdom. She co-founded the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival with Peter Wells in 1999. Stephanie is currently the Randell Cottage Creative NZ Writer in Residence.

For further information contact: Sarah Thornton


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