Blanche Baughan reviewed

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review of Erewhon’s Selected Writings of Blanche Baughan appeared yesterday in the Booksellers New Zealand blog.

Her book of selected writings, taken from work written between 1898 and 1936, is a masterpiece of description of early settler life in New Zealand. You feel you are standing right beside the poor souls who lived the hard life, making their way in 19th century New Zealand as you read Baughan’s lively sketches. If you’ve read Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries, you know her characters would also have felt right at home in these portraits of our early settlers.

We trust that sales will also be commensurate with those of Eleanor Catton.

New editorial board members: New Zealand literature

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Erewhon is establishing an editorial board. This is an ongoing process – further announcements soon. I’d like to thank the following for volunteering their expert services in the field of New Zealand literature. I look forward to working with them.

David Howard, poet, scholar and co-founder of Takahē magazine, is author of The Incomplete Poems (2011) and one of the established voices in contemporary NZ poetry. His various awards include the Robert Burns Fellowship (2013).

Timothy Jones, Lecturer in English at Victoria University of Wellington, has written on Frank Sargeson and other New Zealand authors, and is on the editorial board of the Journal of New Zealand Literature.

Mark Williams, Professor of English at VUW, has published extensively on New Zealand literature since the 1980s and edited several major anthologies. He also serves on the boards of numerous scholarly journals.

New Zealand literature in schools: a survey

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Erewhon Press is interested in developing resources to assist the teaching of New Zealand literature in secondary schools.

What we specifically have in mind is a series of concise critical guidebooks written by distinguished scholars and tailored to the needs of secondary pupils. Each book would focus on a major New Zealand author, e.g. Mansfield, Baxter, Gee, etc.

We are keen to hear feedback from English teachers on what you are currently teaching and what resources you think would be most useful to you. Please take our short online survey. If you’d like to share your views in more detail, you are very welcome to email the Editor at damian.love@erewhonpress.com or leave a comment on this post.

Publishing on autism in New Zealand

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Erewhon Press is looking into the possibility of developing an ASD list: books about autism spectrum disorder written specifically for New Zealanders.

I invite anyone who has an interest in ASD to take this brief online survey, or email me at damian.love@erewhonpress.com, or leave a comment on this post. The Press has an in-house familiarity with the autistic spectrum.

I’d like to know whether people feel such books are needed. Are there potential good books that are not being written due to a lack of publishing options? Would a small dedicated autism list with expert advisors, committed to nurturing projects and providing supportive high-quality editing, be likely to stimulate beneficial books that would not otherwise happen? Which of the following categories should be priorities?

  • Research. Research on the diagnosis and treatment of ASD in specifically New Zealand contexts, while often best disseminated in journals, may in some cases be suitable for a monograph, especially if it aims to reach a national audience of practitioners as a work with ongoing reference value or makes a sustained argument for a shift in national practices and policies.
  • Education. Books of practical use to professionals, families and individuals with ASD. These might include textbooks tailored to New Zealand health and education systems, guidance for families on finding and making the most of available resources, and works concerned with advocacy or community awareness.
  • Inside views. It is important that individuals and families affected by ASD have a voice. Authors might benefit from a local publisher of first resort that has knowledge of the field and is willing to work with them to develop promising projects.

All opinions are welcome. I’d also like to hear from experienced or qualified individuals who might be interested in acting as advisors, peer reviewers, or general editors.

New title coming up in March: Selected Writings of Blanche Baughan

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Classics listBlanche Baughan   Selected Writings
Edited with an introduction by Damian Love
RRP NZ$29.99
ISBN 978-0-473-30943-5
176 pp, poetry, fiction, nonfiction
Paperback 198 x 129 mm
Series: Erewhon Classics
Date of publication: March 2015

I’m delighted to announce that the first Erewhon Classics title is due out in March. Expect the print edition to hit the bookshops towards the end of the month, and check out updates on this site over the next few weeks for an option to order the PDF and ePub editions.

Blanche Edith Baughan (1870-1958) was one of the first gifted poets in New Zealand’s history. Her best poems still have a secure place in national anthologies a century after she wrote them. Continue reading