The Auckland University Press Anthology of New Zealand Literature

Edited by Jane Stafford and Mark Williams


‘What, after all, is the truth of a place that has only just been worked into language?’


From Polynesian Mythology to the Yates’ Garden Guide, from Allen Curnow to Alice Tawhai, from Jessie Mackay to Alison Wong, from Julius Vogel to Albert Wendt, from the letters of Wiremu Te Rangikaheke to the notebooks of Katherine Mansfield – Māori, Pākehā, Pasifika, and Asian New Zealanders have struggled for two and a half centuries to work the English language into some sort of truth about this place. The Auckland University Press Anthology of New Zealand Literature brings together for the first time in one volume this country’s major writing, from the earliest records of exploration and encounter to the globalised, multicultural present.

Editors Jane Stafford and Mark Williams range across novels and stories, poems and plays, letters and diaries, comics and songs to collect the defining stuff of our literary heritage. The contents will delight and provoke: Erewhon andThe Heart of the BushMan Alone and ‘No Ordinary Sun’; The God Boy and Hicksville; ‘The Gumboot Song’ and The Vintner’s Luck. Through an imaginative selection and illuminating introductions, Stafford and Williams provide new paths into our writing and our country. For students and readers, at home and overseas, the Anthology of New Zealand Literature will be the indispensable introduction for years to come to what’s worth reading and why.


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Jane Stafford is associate professor at Victoria University. She is the author (with Mark Williams) of Maoriland: New Zealand Literature 1872–1914 (VUP, 2006) and editor, with Anna Jackson, of Floating Worlds: Essays on Contemporary New Zealand Fiction (VUP, 2009).  Stafford co-edited, alongside Mark Williams and Ralph Crane, ‘The World Novel to 1950’ volume of The Oxford History of the Novel in English.

Mark Williams is professor at Victoria University. His books include Post-colonial Literatures in English: Southeast Asia, New Zealand and the Pacific (G.K. Hall, 1996), Patrick White (St Martin's Press, 1993), and with Jenny Bornholdt and Gregory O'Brien the Montana Book Award-winning Anthology of New Zealand Poetry in English (Oxford University Press, 1997). He is co-author of Maoriland and co-editor of ‘The World Novel to 1950’ volume of The Oxford History of the Novel in English.


Winner, Most Beautiful Books Australia & New Zealand Award 2013 

Winner, Best Cover, PANZ Book Design Awards 2013

Winner, Best Non-Illustrated Book, PANZ Books Design Awards 2013

Finalist, BEST Design Awards 2013


October 2012, 238 x 176 mm, 1248 pages
Hardback, ISBN 978 1 86940 589 2, $75