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
the Catlins and Arrowtown, and the discerning explorer in the south is
well catered for.
Otago History Series
Wild Dunedin: Enjoying the Natural History of New Zealand's Wildlife
Capital by Neville Peat and Brian Patrick
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,
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.
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
Halfway to Africa by Bronwyn Tate
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