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Arthritis New Zealand Policy Advisor, Jane Wilson, is finding The Walking Stick Tree a valuable resource.
‘I had made the decision over Christmas to buy some new books which I could learn from. The Walking Stick Tree was one of those books. I found it useful to hear of historical treatment methods, to hear Trish’s lived experience from diagnosis as a child to present day and found her sections where she reflected on arthritis and disability really insightful and useful in my work.’
Jane and author Trish Harris can be seen here at the ‘Let’s Talk: our communities, our health’ forum where they met by chance recently. ‘It was great to meet and chat to Trish. Her book’s a recommended read for people to understand the lived experience of arthritis, but also just as a fantastic read. I particularly liked the cover!’
Erin Donohue shares the story behind her bestselling YA novel. This powerful coming-of-age story follows 17-year-old Caleb Evans as he struggles to hold his life together while everything around him is falling apart. It comes as no surprise to us that it was recently the 2nd highest-selling New Zealand children’s fiction title on the Nielsen bestseller list. There was barely a dry eye in the house as Erin shared the experiences that inspired her novel; we are sure you will be moved by her speech too.
To read the speech click here
Helen Margaret Waaka, author of Waitapu, is continuing to write about this small fictitious town. Her short story ‘The Apology’ which is included in a new collection from Huia Publishers, explores an event occurring in Waitapu in more depth.
The collection, Stories on the Four Winds: Ngā Hau e Whā, edited by Brian Bargh and Robyn Bargh is a finalist in this years Massey University Ngā Kupu Ora Awards, in the Te Tuhiinga Auaha – Creative Writing Category. It brings together twenty short stories from eighteen New Zealand writers.
‘The Apology’ will appear in some form in the book Helen is currently working on, Still Waters, a novel and sequel to Waitapu.
On the 7th of October we launched the first novel from our newest author, Erin Donohue.
She’s had a busy couple of weeks with appearances in Wellington in the back of Te Auaha’s big yellow shipping container, and at the Nelson Arts Festival, revealing herself to be not only a talented writer but also a very moving speaker.
Low Visionary, a blog with a focus on disability rights and a passion for accessibility, has written a review of Trish Harris’ memoir that is well worth a read.
“…there was much anguished discussion among disabled people about the need to tell better, more realistic and more nuanced disability stories. The Walking Stick Tree makes an excellent contribution to filling that aching void. It establishes a place for disability and disabled writers in the literary world in general, since the themes are universal, but it makes a place, with its familiar setting, in the New Zealand literary world.”
Read the full review here.
Escalator Press have recently been celebrating the success of their author, L. J. Ritchie. His first novel, Like Nobody’s Watching, has been shortlisted for the Copyright Licensing NZ Award for Young Adult Fiction as well as the Best First Book Award in the 2017 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults (NZCYA). The winner of each award walks away with $7,500.
We caught up with L. J. Ritchie to see how he is taking the news. Currently hard at work on his second novel, Ritchie said it was ‘a big surprise’ to be told he was a finalist in the NZCYA, especially in such esteemed company as Maurice Gee in the Best Young Adult Fiction category. Ritchie hopes that the positive buzz around the prestigious awards will encourage readers to engage with his next Young Adult novel, an alternate-history thriller about eugenics in New Zealand during the Great Depression.
Publisher Adrienne Jansen expressed her delight at the nomination, saying she is ‘very proud of Like Nobody’s Watching’ as a ‘great read that also asks big questions’. As Ritchie’s first book, she thinks it is ‘just the start’ of a successful career. The 2017 NZCYA winners will be announced on 14 August. We wish Ritchie, and all other finalists, the greatest of luck.
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Landfall Journal has written a shining review of Rob Hack’s poetry collection Everything is Here.
Erena Shingade writes, ‘His tone is uninhibited and effortless… just what feels like a friend speaking in a direct and unsentimental way.’
Read the full review here.
LJ Ritchie has made the shortlist in this year’s New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults in both the Best First Book and the Young Adult Fiction category.
Check out Like Nobody’s Watching and the other finalists here.
Also see this fantastic article on The Sapling website for the publisher’s insights on each of the Young Adult Fiction finalists.
LJ Ritchie has been talking crime in the current series of Murder in the Library, running in conjunction with the Ngaio Marsh Awards. So is Like Nobody’s Watching a crime novel? Well it’s certainly a thriller, and if illegal surveillance, cyber bullying etc are crimes, it’s right in there.
Trish Harris’s memoir The Walking Stick Tree has received wide media coverage. It featured on RNZ’s Nine toNoon programme and on the Stuff news website with articles also appearing in journals, magazines and blogs. We’re delighted to see the book—which contains not only a great story but also four essays and quirky illustrations—has made it onto the recommended reading list for Massey University’s Disability Studies course this semester. That’s a first!