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  • Published: 3 July 2017
  • ISBN: 9780143770299
  • Imprint: RHNZ Vintage
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $40.00
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Black Marks on the White Page




'A collection to be savoured.'



A stunning collection of Oceanic stories for the 21st century.

Stones move, whale bones rise out of the ground like cities, a man figures out how to raise seven daughters alone. Sometimes gods speak or we find ourselves in a not-too-distant future. Here are the glorious, painful, sharp and funny 21st century stories of Maori and Pasifika writers from all over the world. Vibrant, provocative and aesthetically exciting, these stories expand our sense of what is possible in Indigenous Oceanic writing.

Witi Ihimaera and Tina Makereti present the very best new and uncollected stories and novel excerpts, creating a talanoa, a conversation, where the stories do the talking. And because our commonalities are more stimulating than our differences, the anthology also includes guest work from an Aboriginal Australian writer, and several visual artists whose work speaks to similar kaupapa.

Join us as we deconstruct old theoretical maps and allow these fresh Black Marks on the White Page to expand our perception of the Pacific world.

  • Pub date: 3 July 2017
  • ISBN: 9780143770299
  • Imprint: RHNZ Vintage
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $40.00

About the Authors

Witi Ihimaera

Witi Ihimaera was the first Maori to publish both a book of short stories and a novel, and has published many notable novels and collections of short stories. Described by Metro magazine as ‘Part oracle, part memoralist,’ and ‘an inspired voice, weaving many stories together’, Ihimaera has also written for stage and screen, edited books on the arts and culture, as well as published various works for children.

His best-known novel is The Whale Rider, which was made into a hugely, internationally successful film in 2002. His novel Nights in the Garden of Spain was also made into a feature film, and was distributed internationally under the name of Kawa. The feature film White Lies was based on his novella Medicine Woman. And his novel Bulibasha, King of the Gypsies inspired the 2016 feature film Mahana. His first book, Pounamu, Pounamu, has not been out of print in the 40 years since publication.

He has also had careers in diplomacy, teaching, theatre, opera, film and television. He has received numerous awards, including the Wattie Book of the Year Award, the Montana Book Award, the inaugural Star of Oceania Award, University of Hawaii, a laureate award from the New Zealand Arts Foundation 2009, the Toi Maori Maui Tiketike Award 2011, and the Premio Ostana International Award, presented to him in Italy 2010. In 2004 he became a Distinguished Companion of the Order of New Zealand, in 2017 France made him Chevalier de l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres and the same year he received the NZ Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement.

Receiving the Maori arts award Te Tohutiketike a Te Waka Toi, Ihimaera said, ‘To be given Maoridom’s highest cultural award, well, it’s recognition of the iwi. Without them, I would have nothing to write about and there would be no Ihimaera. So this award is for all those ancestors who have made us all the people we are. It is also for the generations to come, to show them that even when you aren’t looking, destiny has a job for you to do.’

Tina Makereti

Tina Makereti writes novels, essays and short stories. The Imaginary Lives of James Poneke is her fourth book. Her short story, ‘Black Milk’, won the Pacific Regional Commonwealth Short Story Prize (2016). Her first novel, Where the Rekohu Bone Sings was longlisted for the Dublin Literary Award and won the 2014 Nga Kupu Ora Aotearoa Maori Book Award for Fiction, also won by her short story collection, Once Upon a Time in Aotearoa (Huia, 2011). In 2009 Tina was the recipient of the Royal Society of New Zealand Manhire Prize for Creative Science Writing (Non-fiction) and the Pikihuia Award for Best Short Story Written in English. She has presented her work all over New Zealand and in Frankfurt, Taipei, Jamaica and the UK. Makereti has a PhD Creative Writing from Victoria University and Tina teaches Creative Writing and Oceanic literatures at Massey University. She is of Ngati Tuwharetoa, Te Ati Awa, Ngati Rangatahi, Pakeha and, according to family stories, Moriori descent.


Praise for Black Marks on the White Page

“Black Marks on the White Page showcases a multiplicity of voices and genres. It is, by turns, startling, beautiful, funny, challenging, forceful and delicate - a talanoa well worth joining.”

Elizabeth Heritage, NZ Listener

“This is a collection to be savoured, not read in one sitting. . . . The stories are interspersed with artworks from nine Pacific artists, which add a nice touch to the breathtaking stories. . . . this is an important collection of 21st century writing, showing a more sophisticated form and a coming of age . . . This is a hard-cover volume that can sit proudly next to foreign collections on any bookshelf, to be read over the years.”

Linda Thompson, Bay of Plenty Times

“When two of New Zealand’s finest writers of Maori descent combine their talents to select new writing from around the Pacific, there are high expectations for the results. Such hopes are amply fulfilled by this invigorating selection of mainly) new (mainly) prose, along with a small portfolio of visual artworks. . . . an engrossing read.”

Paul Little, North and South

“The editors have chosen writing ranging from 2007 to 2017, based on how they will help expand our world "aesthetically, politically, linguistically, and culturally". And this they do as each writer works with his or her own preoccupations, whether they be the dire contemporary state of the world, the role and appearance of art, or a fixation on languages, linguistics and semantics. . . . Like the title, these marks here inscribed upon the blank page fill in histories and storytelling from a multiplicity of fresh and uplifting perspectives. ”

Jessie Neilson, Otago Daily Times

“In summary, every example of "story-telling" included in this anthology is more or less distinctive and fresh . . . it is a set of stories pushing against the boundaries of the dominant language, as if against the boundaries of the dominant culture, that makes this collection exceptional.”

David Eggleton, NZ Books


Discover More

Article
The symbolism of Black Marks on the White Page's jacket illustration.
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Read the story being discussed on Jesse Mulligan’s show on Radio New Zealand on 26 July 2018

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