Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Classic New Zealand high-country biography finally back in print
A RIVER RULES MY LIFE
By Mona Anderson
A River Rules My Life by Mona Anderson
was first published in 1963 and ran to nine editions and reprints, selling over
It was the
first time someone had written about high-country station life from a woman’s
perspective and it remains a classic in the now hugely popular station life
Anderson first arrived at the 23,000ha Mt Algidus property as a young bride in
the early 1940s. Access to the homestead was by horse or dray across the
river when water levels allowed.
with the outside world was difficult. When the station was sold in 1973,
there was still no telephone line. Electricity was provided by a diesel
generator, and cooking was done on a wood stove.
Anderson arrived at the station she knew nothing about station life. ‘I could
have distinguished between a cow and a sheep and I could sometimes tell a lamb
chop from a pork chop, but that was the limit of my experience, and I was determined
to keep my ignorance to myself.’ She fed shearers and musterers, established a
garden and rescued stray animals which became her pets.
edition is published with the Mona Anderson estate (Mona died in 2004.) It
brings back to life the isolated world of the Wilberforce River, under the
shadow of the Southern Alps.
river was my Rubicon. I had heard stories about the terrible Wilberforce: so
many people had drowned in it. I tried not to think about the time when I could
have to cross it. But the road had come to an end at a corrugated iron shed.
Somewhere beyond it I knew we would find the station, Mount Algidus, a green,
high-country oasis amid the snow and the tussock…’
RULES MY LIFE
By Mona Anderson Published
by HarperCollins | October 2017 | RRP $45.00
available as an ebook