Tell You What : Great New Zealand Nonfiction, 2015
On the web and the wireless, in magazines and journals, at prizegivings and pōwhiri, New Zealanders are talking and writing about the world right now. We’ve been producing essays and articles, speeches and submissions, tweets and travelogues – nonfiction, in other words. This book collects some of New Zealand’s best true stories from the past year or so together into an anthology.
And tell you what: we are swimming in this great nonfiction. This anthology takes us to new places, introduces us to new people, asks new questions and brings us a little closer to the true and the real. We’ve got mountain climbing and family secrets, cannibal snails and dangerous swims. We’ve got births. Deaths. Marriages. House auctions. Steve Braunias on a mysterious egging and Lara Strongman on Christchurch, Eleanor Catton on our paradoxical islands and Tina Makereti on the resonance of te reo.
With other pieces by Simon Wilson (on mutton), Elizabeth Knox (on Mahy), Keith Ng (on global warming) and Ashleigh Young (on cycling in London) – not to mention contributions from Naomi Arnold, Sarah Bainbridge, José Barbosa, Claire Browning, Greg Bruce, Rachel Buchanan, Anthony Byrt, Megan Clayton, Paul Ewen, David Haywood, David Herkt, Gregory Kan, Nic Low, Chris McDowall, Alice Miller, Jemima Sherpa, Allan Smith, Leilani Tamu, Alice Te Punga Somerville, Giovanni Tiso and David Winter – this is a cracking collection of real, live stories, written to last.
Jolisa Gracewood is a writer, editor and reviewer, in between chirping about books on Twitter. Susanna Andrew thinks and writes about books for Metro magazine and is also an organiser of literary events. They live in neighbouring Auckland suburbs and are always swapping book recommendations; you could call them very close readers.