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  • Published: 3 July 2017
  • ISBN: 9780143770305
  • Imprint: RHNZ Adult ebooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 352

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.

  • Published: 3 July 2017
  • ISBN: 9780143770305
  • Imprint: RHNZ Adult ebooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 352

About the authors

Witi Ihimaera

Three-time winner of the Wattie/Montana Book of the Year award, Katherine Mansfield fellow and playwright Witi Ihimaera is one of New Zealand’s most prolific and accomplished writers. Witi’s first novel, Tangi, won the Wattie Book of the Year Award in 1974, a feat he repeated with The Matriarch in 1986. His celebrated novel Bulibasha, King of the Gypsies, now adapted as the film Mahana, won the Montana Book of the Year award in 1995. Witi’s other novels and short story collections include The Whale Rider (also adapted as an internationally successful film); Dream Swimmer (sequel to the award-winning The Matriarch); Pounamu, Pounamu and Nights In The Gardens of Spain. In 2015 he published the first volume of his autobiography, Maori Boy.

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

What's in a cover?

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

Short story club – 26 July 2018

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