New Zealand’s literati gathered at Unity on the evening of Tuesday the 26th of July to celebrate the release of Extraordinary Anywhere: Essays on Place from Aotearoa New Zealand, a new publication from Victoria University Press. With Ingrid Horrocks and Cherie Lacey at the helm of the book, and many well-known names contributing, it was geared up to be a lively and significant affair.
Unity’s Rachel kicked off the evening, followed by Fergus Barrowman from VUP, who spoke of his great pleasure in being involved with the publication of the book.
Ingrid Horrocks spoke next about how the book serves as a launching pad for place writing in New Zealand, which has not had a significant platform until now. “We looked for the people who were doing exciting things and brought them together”, she said.
Co-editor Cherie followed Ingrid at the microphone, describing what an unforgettable experience working on the book was, and how it has grown up alongside her young daughter.
We were then lucky enough to have five of the book’s contributors sharing excerpts with us: Lydia Wevers on the dirt from the Brancepeth library collection; Tina Makereti on the displacement of her Maori identity; Harry Ricketts on growing up with a father in the British army; Tim Corballis on space and place; and finally Lynn Jenner, on the Kapiti Expressway and the taniwha which may or may not lurk in the earth below.
Ingrid and Cherie then signed copies of the book, while punters mingled, chatted, and quaffed wine.
Words by Cassie Richards, photographs by Dylan Sherwood
Extraordinary Anywhere: Essays on Place from Aotearoa New Zealand is available in store and from our online shop HERE