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'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.


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

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Formats & editions

  • Hardback


    July 3, 2017

    RHNZ Vintage

    336 pages

    RRP $40.00

    Online retailers

    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • Fishpond
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.co.nz

  • EBook


    July 3, 2017

    Random House New Zealand

    352 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle NZ
    • iBooks NZ
    • Google Play EBook NZ
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia NZ



We hate blowflies. Their fat glossy eyes, green and blue, come to drone through the summer of our houses. Mean and heavy.

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What's in a Cover?

The symbolism of Black Marks on the White Page's jacket illustration. 

Book Clubs
Short Story Club – 26 July 2018

Read the story being discussed on Jesse Mulligan’s show on Radio New Zealand on 26 July 2018