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.
Thursday, September 14, 2017
A NEW, INSIGHTFUL AND ILLUMINATING LOOK AT THE LIFE OF SIR EDMUND HILLARY
A NEW, INSIGHTFUL AND ILLUMINATING LOOK AT THE LIFE OF SIR
EDMUND HILLARY, BY A FELLOW MOUNTAINEER WHO WAS A CLOSE FRIEND FOR OVER HALF A
CENTURY AUTHOR INFORMATION
This new and important biography of Sir Edmund Hillary, a
truly great New Zealander, breaks new ground among previous accounts of his
life. The author, Michael Gill, was a close friend of Edmund Hillary’s for over
50 years, accompanying him on many expeditions, and becoming heavily involved
in his Himalayan aid work. He was also granted access by Sir Edmund’s children
to a large archive of private papers and photos that were deposited in the Auckland
Museum after his death.
Building on personal experience, and this new unpublished
material, Michael Gill has written a wonderfully insightful and illuminating
biography. He describes the uncertainties of the first 33 years of Edmund
Hillary’s life, as well as the always-fascinating stories of the early attempts
on Mt Everest, all a prelude to the first ascent which brought him instant
world-wide fame. But too, this biography reveals, in part through personal
letters, the tender and loving relationship he had with his wife Louise.
Her importance to him during their 22 years of marriage only underlines the
horror of her death, along with that of their youngest daughter, in a plane
crash in 1975. Sir Edmund eventually pulled out of the subsequent depression to
continue his life’s work building schools and hospitals in the Himalayas.
Affectionate, but scrupulously fair, Michael Gill has gone
further than anyone before to reveal the humanity of this remarkable man.
Edmund Hillary’s life was shaped by both triumph and tragedy, and while he
became famous through his mountaineering achievements, ultimately it was his
humility and great compassion for the people of Nepal that has become his
About the author:
MICHAEL GILL was a 22-year-old medical student when he
followed up on a newspaper statement in 1959 that Sir Edmund Hillary was
looking for an additional climber for his next Himalayan expedition. As
climber, photographer, doctor and writer, Mike was subsequently invited on
nearly all the Hillary expeditions through to the last of them in jet boats up
the river Ganges in 1977.
He has written two other books, a mountaineering
autobiography, Mountain Midsummer in 1989, and Himalayan Hospitals, 2011, an
account of the experiences of the doctors and other volunteers who worked for
the Himalayan Trust between 1961 and 2002.
Hardback with dustjacket
ISBN: 9780947503383 Published by Potton & Burton