Press publishes three new titles



Massey University Press will publish three new non-fiction books this month on a diverse range of topics.

The New Zealand Horse

Written by Deborah Coddington and accompanied by stunning photographs from one of New Zealand’s best known photographers, Jane Ussher, this book is a magnificent tribute to the New Zealand horse, documenting its pivotal role in the development of the early colony, in farming, transport, war, sport and in our affections.  

It captures the strength, beauty and mystery of the horse across New Zealand, from bareback beach riders in the far north and huntsmen in Hawke’s Bay, to the Otago high country, the stud farms of the Waikato, the wild horses of the Kaimanawas, film horses, dressage horses and many, many more.

Theo Schoon: A biography

Émigré artist Theo Schoon was fascinating, unorthodox, controversial, pioneering and at times reckless. His life intersected with important cultural periods and places, where what it meant to be modern in New Zealand was being debated and articulated in art, literature, music and theatre.

The art he pioneered and promoted – Māori rock drawings, the drawings of a psychiatric patient, Māori moko and kōwhaiwhai, the abstract patterns of geothermal activity in Rotorua – were decisive for many other New Zealand artists, including Gordon Walters. His example, as an academically trained artist with a good knowledge of modern European art and a commitment to do whatever it took to pursue his artistic projects, was both an inspiring and a cautionary tale.

Schoon’s is a life less well known now than it deserves to be. This superb, highly illustrated biography by one of New Zealand’s best art writers, Damian Skinner, corrects that imbalance and examines Schoon’s claims on the development of art and culture in Aotearoa in the twentieth century.

The Writing Life: Twelve New Zealand authors

A unique, candid and intimate survey of the life and work of 12 of our most acclaimed writers: Patricia Grace, Tessa Duder, Owen Marshall, Philip Temple, David Hill, Joy Cowley, Vincent O’Sullivan, Albert Wendt, Marilyn Duckworth, Chris Else, Fiona Kidman and Witi Ihimaera.

Constructed as questions and answers with experienced oral historian Deborah Shepard, they offer a marvellous insight into their careers. As a group they are now the “elders” of New Zealand literature; they forged the path for the current generation.

Together the authors trace their publishing and literary history from 1959 to 2018, through what might now be viewed as a golden era of publishing into the more unsettled climate of today. They address universal themes: the death of parents and loved ones, the good things that come with ageing, mortality, the components of a satisfying life, the joy of writing, and much more; and they give advice on writing.

The book has an historical continuity, showing fruitful and fascinating links between individuals who have negotiated the same literary terrain for more than 60 years. To further honour them are magnificent photo portraits by distinguished photographer John McDermott, commissioned by the publisher for this project.

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