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A stunning collection of novellas

In The Purity of Ice, Witi Ihimaera continues his exploration of the novella and the long story begun in his last collection, Ask The Posts of the House (2007) with a new set of intriguing narratives: urban fiction in 'Maggie Dawn'; contemporary comedy in 'We'll Always Have Paris'; the science fiction novella in 'Purity of Ice'; the new genre of conservation fiction in 'Orbis Terrarium'; and an adaptation into novella, 'One More Night', of Albert Belz's play, Whero's New Net, which itself was adapted from stories in Ihimaera's second short story collection, The New Net Goes Fishing (1976).

The ideas continue to affirm Ihimaera's place in New Zealand literature as one of our finest storytellers.


"[Ihimaera's] works are beautifully written, clever and humorous"

Jolene Williams, Bay of Plenty Times

. . . full of experimentation and literary derring-do . . . the show-stopper is the final, title story, 'The Thrill of Falling' . . . is quite brilliant, and the story a beautiful, lambent note on which to finish.

John McCrystal, Weekend Herald

. . . a great combination of the punchiness of a short story, along with more development of character and plot. Add that to Ihimaera's knack for creating characters that seem to come alive off the pages, and you end up with a book that I read in a couple of sittings because I enjoyed it so much.

Mandy Evans, Saturday Express

All six stories are very imaginative and readable, combining references to Maori mythology and New Zealand history in an easy, playful and relaxed style, while pulling off twists and brilliant touches that certainly must keep the reader impressed.

Geoff Adams, Otago Daily Times

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Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback


    July 6, 2012

    RHNZ Vintage

    320 pages

    RRP $38.00

    Online retailers

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

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • EBook


    July 6, 2012

    RHNZ Adult ebooks

    320 pages

    Online retailers

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

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

Also by Witi Ihimaera

Sleeps Standing
Black Marks on the White Page
Bulibasha Film Tie-In
Maori Boy
White Lies
I've Been Thinking About You, Sister
Pounamu Pounamu (Anniversary Ed)
The Parihaka Woman
Nights in the Gardens of Spain
His Best Stories
The Matriarch
Pounamu Pounamu
The Whale Rider
Sky Dancer
The Dream Swimmer
The Uncle's Story
Uncle's Story


The Handmaid's Tale
Uncommon Type
To Kill A Mockingbird
Echo Burning
A Gentleman in Moscow
Paris For One And Other Stories
The Girl on the Train
The Golden House
Dragonfly In Amber
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
Swing Time
The Mistress
Men Without Women
Tiger Men
The Golden Age
Fifty Shades Darker
A Long Way from Home
The Trip of a Lifetime
The Light Between Oceans