August 18, 2018 posted by Unity Wellington

AFTERGLOW: To The Mountains – Edited by Laurence Fearnley and Paul Hersey

AFTERGLOW: To The Mountains – Edited by Laurence Fearnley and Paul Hersey

The mountains came to Unity Books on Thursday 16th August, as author Laurence Fearnley and mountaineer and writer Paul Hersey donned their editorial hats to discuss the compilation of To The Mountains: A Collection Of NZ Alpine Writing with Shaun Barnett, author of several books on NZ tramping. Shaun started out by asking the two editors how they approached selecting the writing that makes up the collection. Laurence and Paul explained that the selection process focused on the quality of mountain writing, rather than the quality of mountaineering described, thus the selection ranges from letters from the likes of Edmond Hillary through to a ten-year-old’s description of taking on a NZ great walk on summer holidays. All three members of the panel shared some of their favourite passages from the book before taking questions from an eager audience.

Paul Hersey, Laurence Fearnley and Shaun Barnett spoke in front of a full lunch time crowd.

Paul and Laurence were joined by a kindred spirit in Shaun.

Laurence recalled discovering some of the material that appears in To The Mountains while researching her book The Hut Builder.

Not an empty chair in the house.

When asked if there was scope for a second volume of NZ alpine writing, Paul recalled the mountainous stack of potential content he and Laurence worked through in compiling the book.

Laurence fondly recalled growing up in a family of mountaineers.

Shaun Barnett was kind enough to leave us with signed copies of Tramping: A NZ History and Tramping in NZ

Ever the explorer, Paul headed off to the Himalaya and his next ascent the day after our event.

Books were signed…

…and more stories shared.


To The Mountains edited by Laurence Fearnley and Paul Hersey is available in store and online now.

Words and pictures by John Duke

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