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    University of Otago Press

    Amanda Smith - 10/02/03

    Since 1958 the University of Otago Press has published a wide range of New Zealand books in the fields of literary criticism, the classics, medicine, dentistry, education and history. In recent times, the Press has widened its embrace to include poetry and fiction, as well as Maori, Pacific and Asian studies and natural history.

    The Press turns forty-five in 2003 - making it the oldest of New Zealand's university presses. Paradoxically, it is also one of the newest presses, in that it has been a full-time operation only since 1993.

    Books to satisfy readers wanting to learn more about New Zealand
    University of Otago Press books appeal to readers who want to find out more about New Zealand and New Zealanders. Books from the South feature strongly, with titles like Traditional Lifeways of the Southern Maori, Wild Dunedin and Wild Fiordland.

    Discover the south
    One of its most popular series has been Neville Peat and Brian Patrick's books about the natural history of southern New Zealand. Wild Dunedin, the first of this series and winner of the Natural History section of the 1996 Montana Book Awards, was reprinted with a fresh, new paperback cover at the end of 2002. Copiously illustrated with striking photographs, Wild Rivers came out in 2001, following Wild Fiordland and Wild Central. Add to these guide books to Wanaka, Oamaru, Stewart Island, the Catlins and Arrowtown, and the discerning explorer in the south is well catered for.

    Wild Dunedin
    Wild Dunedin: Enjoying the Natural History of New Zealand's Wildlife Capital by Neville Peat and Brian Patrick
    Otago History Series
    Books in the Otago History Series look at aspects of New Zealand, Pacific and Australian history. A random dip produces the treatment of the mentally ill, Irish migration and the waterside workers' dispute. Particularly interesting recent publications are Shifting Centres,
    Shifting Centres
    Shifting Centres
    a survey of women's migration to and within New Zealand, and No Idle Rich, which looks at the early wealth of Canterbury and Otago.

    People interested in history titles should consider becoming an Otago History Reader. Readers receive information about upcoming Otago History and other Press titles, as well as invitations to Press events in their area. Send your details to Amanda Smith.

    Fiction & Journals
    The Press also publishers novels, short stories and poetry. Established writers like Ruth Dallas and Cilla McQueen, new and developing novelists like Lynn Davidson and Bronwyn Tate, and poets with a pacific focus like Sudesh Mishra, all form part of a growing list of creative writers appearing under the Otago imprint.

    Halfway to Africa
    Halfway to Africa by Bronwyn Tate
    University of Otago Press also published journals such as the Women's Studies Journal and Computers in New Zealand Schools. And of course there is Landfall, which has returned to its home base and now has, in Justin Paton, a Dunedin-based editor. Landfall deals with all aspects of the New Zealand cultural scene in a lively and accessible format.

    Art history, social sciences and education, literary criticism, travel and politics - despite its size the Press works in diverse fields and sells its publications internationally. It has come a long way from the days of hand-setting type in a room in the English department.

    Published with permission from NZine