With ‘New Zealand Bird of the Year’ still fresh in our minds (hooray for the voluptuous Kererū!) it seems only fit that Unity Books Wellington hosted the evening launch for Geoff Norman’s second book Birdstories: A History of the Birds of New Zealand on Tuesday 6th November 2018. This luscious history of New Zealand birds spans from first encounters to modern day conservation statuses. An equally glorious partner to Geoff’s first book, the 2014 edition of Buller’s Birds of NZ: the Complete Work of JG Keulemans.
Friends, family, ornithologists & historians were among the large crowd that gathered to celebrate the launch. Robbie Burton, publisher at Potton & Burton, described Geoff as the “most vertically integrated author” he’s ever worked with and said he, unlike most authors, presented him with an almost finished, fully curated proposal. A better partnership could not have been had between author and publisher – both great outdoorsmen having met and discussed the potential of the book over lasagne in a small tramping hut on the side of a mountain. Chris Mclean, fellow author and long time friend, followed up saying that Geoff is a “renaissance figure of the book world” and believes that Birdstories will be an important canonical tome of New Zealand history. After all was said and done, Geoff signed copies of his book and chatted with a long line of happy readers.
Words & pictures by Ash Miles