A reminder about RBdigital & Zinio for Libraries change

A reminder that the Zinio for Libraries app will be replaced by RBdigital tomorrow (April 17 2018). Your login will remain the same and you won’t lose titles you’ve already checked out.

Have you tried the new RBdigital app? It’s available to download from your app store and is the new app for reading our Zinio (now-renamed RBdigital) magazine collection.  It has some great features — see our previous blog post.

If you open your existing Zinio for Libraries app, you will be prompted to download the new app, or depending on your device, visit your app store from these links: iOS | Google Play. Alternatively, search for “RBdigital” in the app store, if you’re not reading this on your device.

Originally, RBDigital planned to stop access to Zinio to Libraries in 2017, but to give library patrons more time to make the switch, they extended the changeover period.

Download the new app and have a look round. There is a basic, but comprehensive help feature inside the app to get you started, or click on the image below for a quick guide to getting started.

Kōrero with Morrie Love of the Tenths Trust at Central Library

On Friday 27 April (12:30pm),  Morrie Love, chairman of Wellington Tenths Trust will present Stories behind the Māori place names of Te Whanganui-a-Tara  / Wellington (harbour)

Whatu  Ngarongaro  He  Tangata,  Toitū  He  Whenua

Man disappears but the land remains

In the early 1800s the stories behind the naming of the land in Te Whanganui-a-Tara were often sourced to Te  Whatahoro Jury and three women  –  Ngarimu Mawene,  Mere Ngamai and Rangiwahia Te Puni.

Te  Whatahoro  Jury

Hoani Te Whatahoro Jury
Hoani Te Whatahoro Jury. Ref: 1/2-024828. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23175005

Te Whatahoro Jury was born 1841 in Hawkes Bay — his father worked for William Williams.  In 1842 the family moved to Wairarapa.  He became a scribe to Te Matorohanga and Nepia Pohuhu and was charged with recording tribal traditions on behalf of his iwi.  Some of this material was used later, by Elsdon Best, T. W. Downes, S. Percy Smith and John White.  He married seven times.  He died 1923 and is buried at Papawai cemetery.

Ngarimu  Mawene  Hohua

Ngarimu Mawene is listed in documents held at Te Papa. Ngarimu Mawene may have been connected to Hohua Te Atuawera and Hariata Mawene, with links therefore Te Ngatoro and  (first?) husband, Wakairianiwa.  Te Ngatoro was, in turn, a daughter to Aniwaniwa and Tawhirikura.  It is said that, as a young girl, Ngarimu danced on the beach at Pito-one as the “Tory Pioneers” arrived in 1839.[1]

Mere  Kapa  Ngamai  I

Mere Kapa Ngamai I was the daughter of Rawiri Kowheta and Maweuweu.

She married, firstly James Harrison, and their children were James Te Tana Harrison and Mere Kapa Ngamai II.  Mere later married Wi Tako Ngatata.  She was also known as Mere Ngawai o Te Wharepouri.

Mere was a well-known composer — two of her compositions which have survived:

(Link is to Legends of the Māori.  Vol. I / James Cowan)

Rangi  Te  Puni

Wairau April 1851, Charles Gold
Gold, Charles Emilius, 1809-1871 : Wairau April 1851. Ref: A-329-014. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23236682

Rangi Te Puni is believed to have been born in Waipa Valley, with links to Tainui and Ngāti Rārua. She succeeded to land at Te Tau Ihu o te Waka. Rangiwahia,(Rangiwhaia) was the daughter of Rangitakaia, and grandchild of Hinehape.[2] Rangiwahia was the wife of Henare Te Puni, who in turn was the son of Honiana Te Puni and Wikitoria Muri-tu-waka-roto.

[Whakapapa of Aperaham Huritapae: Nelson MB, 13/6/89 / [WMB  NO. 3, P. 39]

James  Cowan

James Cowan at his desk, writing
James Cowan at his desk, writing. Ruscoe, Ivan, fl 1990s : Photographs relating to James Cowan. Ref: PAColl-5877-5. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22311747

James Cowan has written about Māori place names  of Te Whanganui-a-Tara in the Evening Post, 1912. These are available on PapersPast, in the Evening Post:

Cowan’s kōrero has been reproduced, also, in Pat Lawlor‘s book:

Old Wellington Days.  Chapter 8:  James Cowan and his Wellington Place-names.

Old Wellington Days, by Pat Lawlor
Old Wellington Days, by Pat Lawlor

Threads are picked up again in:

A list of Māori place names of Te Whanganui-a-Tara  concludes Elsdon Best’s The land of Tara.  Here is a map from that book.

The Land of Tara, by Elsdon Best
The Land of Tara, by Elsdon Best

Te Whatahoro Jury’s work in transcribing  oral histories possibly, formed a basis for stories in Elsdon Best’s – The land of Tara, published first in the Journal of the Polynesian Society, and then in book form, 1919.

Best’s list of names was revised and greatly expanded by G Leslie Adkin in:

The great harbour of Tara : traditional Māori place-names and sites of Wellington harbour and environs / G Leslie Adkin (1959)

The Great Harbour of Tara, by G. Leslie Adkin

Surveyors

Māori have long had an interest in the spiritual value of land: it pervades their sense of identity and how they relate to others. But land is also the foundation of their survival, in economic as well as cultural terms [3]

Book Jacket for: Boundary markers : land surveying and the colonisation of New ZealandBoundary markers : land surveying and the colonisation of New Zealand / Byrnes, Giselle

Giselle Byrnes, writing of surveyors as Pākehā boundary markers, shows that these men were also naming the land, and “owning” the whenua for their colonial government in a way that parallels the Māori concept of Tapa Whenua.

 

Boundary markers suggest that the surveyors colonised the land through language, literally inscribing it with new meanings and ways of seeing:  place naming and mapping are perhaps the best examples of this [4]

For Māori, in oral tradition, naming the land was essential for defining  iwi and  hapū boundaries. Sites of tribal significance — maunga, awa, moana  then become key elements in kawa o te marae, and  whanaungatanga, in rituals of encounter, where politeness decrees that you ask not “ko wai koe?/ who are you?”, but rather, “nō hea koe? / where are you from?”

Surveyors extended their sketching skills to record not just Pākehā boundaries, but also snapshots of the life and times of our tūpuna.

Somes Island

Legend has it that both Matiu and Makaro Islands received their original Māori names from Kupe, the semi-legendary first navigator to reach New Zealand and get home again with reports of the new land. He named them after his two daughters (or, in some versions of the tale, nieces) when he first entered the harbour about 1000 years ago.

Somes Island : Matiu (1990)
Somes Island : Matiu (1990)

“After European settlement, the island was known for over a century as Somes Island. In 1839 it fell under the control of the New Zealand Company along with much of the greater Wellington region.”

“The island was renamed after Joseph Somes, the company’s deputy-governor and financier at the time. In 1997 however, the New Zealand Geographic Board assigned the official bilingual name of Matiu/Somes in recognition of the island’s colourful European and Māori histories.” [5]

I look forward to Morrie Love’s kōrero to reveal the layers of history that lie both beneath our feet and before our eyes, and  to provide an opportunity to understand the heritage of Te Whanganui-a-Tara.

References

  1. Stories in names / Tohunga.   New Zealand Railways magazine ; vol. 9, issue 6 (1934)
  2. Maori Land Court.  Nelson Minute Book.   13/6/89.  P. 39.
  3. Byrnes, Giselle.   Boundary markers.  P. 2
  4. Ibid.  p. 6
  5. Wikipedia contributors. (2018, March 16). Matiu / Somes Island. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 02:26, April 13, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Matiu_/_Somes_Island&oldid=830688561

Make, create or innovate these April holidays

Spin a Sphero, make music, code a cart, and rock with a robot! These April school holidays, your children can get to be an engineer, architect, or scientist at your local library. There are eight different robot and coding events happening across Wellington City Libraries: we have some of the latest programmable toys, gadgets and robots, or they can get creative with Lego and coding games. Best of all, they are open to all ability levels.

Here’s where and when the activities are happening:

Ruth Gotlieb (Kilbirnie) Library: Tuesday 17th April, 10.30am

Mervyn Kemp (Tawa) Library: Wednesday 18th April, 10.30am

Cummings Park (Ngaio) Library: Thursday 19th April, 10.30am

Karori Library: Friday 20th April, 2.30pm

Johnsonville Library: Monday 23rd April. 2.30pm

Newtown Library: Tuesday 24th April, 10.30am

Khandallah Library: Thursday 26th April, 10.30am

Central Library: Friday 27th April, 10.30am

These free events are for children aged 6+ and run for 1 hour. No need to book – just turn up! Contact your library to find out more information – or follow our Kids Blog or our Facebook page for updates.

Dancing Through the Pages @ Central

April 21 – 29 is NZ Dance Week #NZDW2018 and we are celebrating here at the Central Library with Dancing Through the Pages, a series of evening talks from some of Wellington’s finest performing artists talking about their craft with a short taste of their live performances as well!

Have you ever wanted to know what it takes to choreograph a work or compose music for dance? Or wondered what the day to day looks like for a dancer or how they shake stage-fright? Or are you just simply curious about their current reading lists? Dancing Through the Pages is a unique opportunity to meet artists at the top of their game with the chance to ask them any burning questions you have about their art-form.

So come along and fill your evenings with movement, music and intrigue among the book shelves!

What’s the Schedule?

Tuesday 24 April/ 6pm  –  Sensory Dance Theatre
Sacha Copland & Emma Coppersmith from Java Dance Theatre will give an insight into creating a sensory experience for theatre goers. Learn about Java’s immersive processes and how food can make a great stage companion and open up a world of ritual.

Thursday 26 April / 6pm – A Song & Dance
Come along and hear contemporary dancer/choreographer Lucy Marinkovich and jazz musician Lucien Johnson  talk about their creative partnership, following their 2017 award-winning dance-theatre show, Lobsters. Find out about collaboration and why it’s important in the arts, plus treat your ears to some smooth saxophone from Lucien.

Friday 27 April 6pm – A Choreographer at Work
Meet Loughlan Prior; dancer, choreographer, filmmaker and a Royal New Zealand Ballet staple. Come along to this final session of Dancing Through the Pages and hear Loughlan talk about his creative process, plus get a behind the scenes glimpse into the mechanics of choreographing a duet. Featuring special guests RNZB dancers Luke Cooper and Georgia Powley

 

Want to know more about the artists?

ABOUT JAVA DANCE THEATRE
Java Dance Theatre is dance theatre that gets under your skin. Founded in 2003 by New Zealand School of Dance graduate, Sacha Copland, Java captures audiences with visceral dance and captivating story-telling. Combining playful physicality, live music and audience immersion Java has captured hearts around New Zealand and the world. Their strong repertoire of original works includes The Wine Project, Dirt and Other Delicious Ingredients, Back of the Bus, The Creamery, Cheese, and Rise.

ABOUT BORDERLINE ARTS ENSEMBLE
The Borderline Arts Ensemble is a performing arts collective established by dancer and choreographer Lucy Marinkovich in 2015 to facilitate her contemporary dance and performance art works. In 2017 Borderline presented Good Good Fortune at the Performance Arcade (Wellington, NZ) and the George Town Arts Festival (Penang, Malaysia), as well as developing choreography for  The Shyness of Trees during an artist residency at Dance Nucleus in Singapore.  Borderline’s first full length dance-theatre work Lobsters premiered in an independent season at Circa Theatre and was the winner of three 2017 Wellington Theatre Awards.

ABOUT LOUGHLAN PRIOR
Loughlan Prior is an Aussie/Kiwi choreographer and performer based in Wellington, New Zealand. He is the choreographer in residence at the Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) and the creative director of Prior Visual, a project based film collective. Loughlan has produced works for the RNZB, the New Zealand School of Dance and recently premiered a piece with the Grand Rapids Ballet in the United States. His film projects have met acclaim both nationally and internationally, his collaborative film Genome featured in Wellington’s treasured 2017 LUX Light Festival.

Can’t get enough of dance?

We completely understand! Not to worry, check out our Q&A with our speakers to find out more about their favourite dance books! Our Librarians have also been putting together some dance themed lists for your reading and viewing pleasure, check out our most recent Biographies Blog Modern Bodies: The Best of Dance Biographies and our latest movies blog of our favourite dance movies!

It’s NZ Dance Week Question Time!

We are counting down to NZ Dance Week (5, 6, 7, 8… get it?) and are getting SO excited for what’s happening at Central Library that week, that librarians have been started tapping and jiving through the shelves! So in the lead up to Dancing Through The Pages we quizzed our upcoming performers about their favourite books and current reading habits!

In order of the week’s performances, we kicked things off with choreographer and Artistic Director of Java Dance Theatre Sacha Copland.

So Sacha, tell us what are you reading at the moment?
“I usually have a few books on the go at any one time. For fun I am reading The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur.  For research for my next work I am reading The Brilliant History of Colour in Art by Victoria Finlay and Chocolate Nations, Living and Dying for Cocoa in West Africa by Orla Ryan. I am really interested in exploring colour more. There is too much monochrome! Also my next work is about chocolate so I have to research every aspect of it before I make it, the good, the bad and the ugly.”

What about your all-time favourite book character?
“This is tricky to answer! Maybe Aomame, a martial-arts instructor and physical therapist from Haruki Murakami’s IQ84. I also love Aliena in The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.”

Next up we have contemporary dancer and choreographer Lucy Marinkovich along with saxophonist and composer Lucien Johnson who answered our questions with the same creative partnership that we will hear more about at ‘A Song & Dance’!

What are you two reading at the moment?
Lucien: “Talking to My Daughter about the Economy by Yanis Varoufakis
Lucy: “Bright Air Black by David Vann (in preparation for the NZ Festival show OrphEus: a dance opera).”

Do you two have a favourite dance book or magazine?
Lucien: “For me it’s a music book: Music is my Mistress by Duke Ellington.”
Lucy: “Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild.”

Lucien, what about your favourite book to recommend?
We by Yevgeny Zamyatin or Symphony for the City of the Dead by M.T Anderson.”

For the final act we asked the same round of quickfire questions to the man behind ‘The Story of LARK’ Louglan Prior, RNZB dancer, choreographer and filmmaker extraordinaire!

What are you reading at the moment?
The History of Bees by Maja Lunde.”

Your all-time favourite book character?
“Albus Dumbledore.”
(We can’t fault you there, #WCLLovesHarryPotter!!)

What about your favourite book to recommend?
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink.”

And final question, do you have a favourite dance book or magazine?
David Hallberg’s autobiography – A Body of Work: Dancing to the Edge and Back and DANZ Magazine.”

Want to know more about Dancing Through the Pages and what’s happening for NZ Dance Week? Check out wcl.govt.nz/danceweek for all of the info, add the Facebook Event to your calendar and follow the hashtag #nzdw2018! We hope to see you there!

Pro-tip: don’t miss our most recent biographies booklist! We’ve hand-picked a selection of some of the prominent dancers in history, from Gene Kelly to Michael Jackson. We couldn’t resist making a list of our favourite dance movies as well, what better reason to relive Footloose is there! Take a look!

NZDW 2018

Who’s reading what at the Fringe Festival?

Fringe Fest programmesJust in case you hadn’t spotted the bright pink posters and brochures all over the city, we feel it’s our duty to let you know the NZ Fringe Festival is taking place all over Wellington right now until March 24th. It’s an exciting time for the Wellington arts and culture scene, and features all sorts of events and performances, from theater, music and dance, to spoken word poetry, Snapchat storytelling and improv comedy. There are over 130 shows in this year’s Fringe program (whaaat! That’s so many!) and shows to suit all tastes. We thought we would speak to a handful of the talented people involved in the festival and delve into the things they’ve been reading, watching and listening to between rehearsals.

Jennifer O'SullivanJennifer O’Sullivan is an improviser and producer making things happen around the city, including the NZ Improv Festival – mark 20-27 October 2018 in your diaries now!

“I’m re-reading Terry Pratchett at the moment. I started re-reading the Tiffany Aching books, which are my favourite ones, then I thought, I’ll go read some of the other ones! So I’ve read The Colour of Magic, The Light Fantastic, now I’m reading Mort. I’m also listening to Harry Potter on audiobook, which is really great, and I listen to a lot of podcasts as well. I’ve been watching Jane the Virgin, it’s fantastic prep for the soap opera actually, because it’s all tele-novella drama. I’ve been watching Star Trek Voyager, which is the only older Star Trek which has grabbed me immediately. It must be something to do with Captain Janeway.”

Check out Jen’s Fringe show Awkward Threesome (until 16th March), her guest spot in Ramshackle & Kitsch (Sunday 18th March), her hosting of Flustercluck (Saturday 24th), and Mirror Miramar, a 10 hour improvised soap opera set in a library, where Jen plays librarian-slash-Meals on Wheels deliverer Lillian Redwood. We can’t wait for that one!

Matt PowellMatt Powell is an improviser and software developer, “which is odd” he says. He is performing in and producing three shows for Fringe – Just Duet (which has unfortunately already finished its run), Awkward Threesome, along with Jen O’Sullivan, and the marathon improv event Mirror Miramar.

“Right now I am re-reading William Gibson‘s The Peripheral, which is a very cool novel about augmented reality and causality and time travel and crime. It’s very interesting science fiction. I have recently binge watched all of Queer Eye and seen Black Panther multiple times, both of those are very highly recommended for anyone with eyes and a nervous system. I listen to a lot of movie soundtracks while I’m writing software, I have a big playlist full of them. Podcast-wise, I’m really enjoying Punch Up the Jam where two comedians-slash-Vine stars take a well-loved piece of music, dissect it and figure out how to make it better. A good episode to start with is “Welcome To The Jungle”, the Guns N’ Roses song, or Ludacris “What’s Your Fantasy”.”

Eamonn MarraEamonn Marra is a writer, comedian and storyteller. His Fringe show is called 2,000 Feet Above Worry Level and each night he will be reading a selection of stories from his new book. Check it out at BATS until Saturday 17 March.

“I just finished Sodden Downstream by Brannavan Gnanalingam. I saw him in the Writers’ Festival, that was a really great session. I was about halfway through his book when I went, and finished the rest of it quite fast after that. I looked at my bookshelf the day before the Ockhams were announced and thought, I should start reading Brannavan’s book, got it off the shelf, and then the next morning and it was shortlisted for the Ockhams. I’m just about to start The New Animals by Pip Adam, which has also been shortlisted, and I read Baby when it first came out, so I’m really excited about those. I’ve been listening to a lot of Mitski, which is also the music before and after my show. When I was finishing my masters all I did was listen to Mitski’s Puberty 2 for eight hours a day, because that was the only music I could write to. I’ve been listening to that again to get back into the headspace. I watched Search Party – I haven’t seen the second season yet – and I rewatched the movie Creep the other day, which is really cool, and I saw Black Panther.”

New for RBdigital in 2018

RBdigital

We have just renewed our RBdigital magazine subscriptions for 2018.  We always use this time as an opportunity to review our collection and look at what new magazines are on offer.  There’s always some cancellations too – either by us (due to performance), or by RBdigital as sometimes magazines are no longer available to renew (which is beyond our control).

This year you can expect to see five new magazines – UK House and Garden; Australian Men’s Fitness; Minecraft World, W magazine and New Zealand’s Metro magazine.
The titles that are no longer available are – Australian Rolling Stone; Australian Metro; Girlfriend; Horrible Histories, Vanity Fair and Renegade Collective.

All changes will kick off from March 1st, so expect to see the new magazines from then.  All back issues of the cancelled magazines will still be available to read and download for a while after that date.

If you haven’t used RBdigital before then now is the time!  They provide us with lots magazines that you can read for free and if you download them to your device you can keep them forever.  You can find the RBdigital homepage in our elibrary or through our Mygateway pages.  There’s a helpful userguide to get you started, all you’ll need is your library card.  The RBdigital app is available to download for free from the Play or Apple stores and it allows you to read magazines offline.  So check it out and if you need any help, pop in to your local library for assistance or fill out our technical support form to put you in touch with our elibrary team.

eKiosk debuts at Wellington International Airport

Wellington City Libraries have entered into a valuable partnership with Wellington Airport, aimed at promoting our digital collections through the hosting of an OverDrive eKiosk at Wellington International Airport. Our OverDrive selection has over 40,000 eBooks and eAudio titles to choose from and in the last financial year, has increased by over 30%, making it a much-liked and enjoyed collection.

By placing a promotional eKiosk in a busy, prominent location like Wellington Airport, we’re hoping to increase access and exposure to our OverDrive collection with the wider Wellington population.

Through the eKiosk, you can get started with our OverDrive collection through the OverDrive app, search and browse titles, listen to and read, eBook and eAudio samples, and have temporary access to digital titles for a limited time.
By using our eKiosk, you’ll be able to send temporary membership links through either text or email, enabling 3 free downloads to your smart phone or tablet, courtesy of Wellington City Libraries.  After being given temporary access to OverDrive, simply join Wellington City Libraries to gain permanent membership and full borrowing entitlements.

If you’d like to get started with our OverDrive collection (or other eLibrary services) try our eLibrary Help page here, or contact us through our Technical Support link here . We look forward to getting you started!

Our new catalogue has landed!

catalogue home pageWe’re delighted to introduce you to our catalogue, please give it a try.

Supplied by the same company as our Classic Catalogue, it’s smartphone-friendly and presents a lot more information to help you choose what you want to borrow. It still has all the main searches – by title, author, or subject, but it’s easier to see if the book (or DVD etc) is available in the library.

Once you’re logged in, you can save your favourite searches, make lists (for your summer holiday reading), or even opt in to save your borrowing history.

Shortly it will be available from our home page, but in the meantime, you can find the link on our main catalogue search page or you can bookmark http://catalogue.wcl.govt.nz.

Wellington author interview: Pip Adam

Author image by Victoria Birkinshaw

Spacious open plan living. Nest or invest. Classy urban retreat. If you’ve spent a bit of time browsing real estate brochures, you’ve probably read these words before. But there’s another, darker story of renting and home ownership in New Zealand, one without floor plans or glossy full-page photos: The New Animals, by Pip Adam.

Adam’s work has appeared in a range of journals and anthologies, with her short story collection Everything We Hoped For published in 2010 and her debut novel I’m Working on a Building in 2013. She’s been described as “the woman who is making literature subversive fun in this country again… The most wired-in to the seething discontent below the housing bubble.” So put down the brochure and get a copy of The New Animals today!

The blurb for The New Animals references intergenerational tension, however the story also looks at tensions of class, wealth and gender. What was it like shaping a story around these conflicts?

I always think conflict and complexity give ‘life’ to stories. It seems like a boringly obvious thing to say but it is also constantly a surprise to me. I often use writing to sort out things that confuse me about life and I guess confusion is often a state of conflict for me – one idea against another, or maybe things acting in ways that don’t gel with my world view that cause a disruption to the things I believe and understand. For me it is always scary writing about people who I am not, but I have always loved the idea of trying to imagine myself into a mindset that seems confusing to me. Like often I might see someone do something and I have this idea that people always act in ways they see as ‘good’ or ‘right’. I’ve met lots of people and no one ever seems to make decisions by thinking ‘this is wrong thing to do’, even people who have broken the law. So yeah, I am always interested in trying to imagine myself into a mindset that would see decisions I see as odd as the ‘right’ decision.​ I enjoyed it particularly in this work because it was a bit like Sudoko or those tile puzzles, where someone would act and there would be a domino tumble of other people being forced to act.

You recently talked about your relationship with fashion – its power and ability to answer societal questions, but also its environmental impact. How did you approach this in The New Animals, especially with fashion playing such a large role in the story?

I am really interested in design of all types, particularly the form and function, or form versus function. Before I started the book I had this love of fashion which I think was a hangover from my hairdressing days. Like I loved seeing how fashion changed and yeah, also I really like looking at beautiful things. For this book I started taking a more intense interest. I became a rampant foll​ower of fashionable people and people in the fashion industry. I just consumed everything I could. I visited shops as well, touched the clothes, saw them on the hangar and on people. I was also really interested in the history of fashion and some of the theories around fashion. I am especially obsessed with the work of Rei Kawakubo and the way she deconstructs the human form. I love the play of her work but also the real seriousness and almost horror of some of her work. I am also quite obsessed with Alexander McQueen’s life and work – in a lot of cases the violence of it. One of the hard things about writing about fashion is that it is often talked about in quite ‘light’ ways. I had to read very deeply to find the language that had weight and importance. There is a risk that fashion can seem shallow because, I think, it is ephemeral and seems to be about adornment when often it is about so much more.

The New Animals is very grounded in Auckland. How do you think the city’s geography helped with the story?

I really love Auckland. I grew up there and I visit a lot.​ It’s interesting you ask about geography because I think it is a really interesting city that way. Like you have that massive volcanic basin that is the harbour and then you have that network of volcanoes that have formed Mt Wellington and Mt Eden and, yeah, I often think of Auckland as this volatile place. My parents live close to Stonefields which is a development built on the site of an old quarry. Auckland has this feeling for me of land acted on. Land in flux, land in change and to me this book is a lot about that, about change and fluidity and evolution and I think walking around Auckland, travelling over it which I did heaps of for this book it’s impossible not to feel that. For instance, the train I catch a lot from Glen Innes travels over the Orakei Basin, this incredibly changeable place. If the tide is in, it looks like a body of water, but when the tide is out it transforms into this muddy almost wasteland. Everything that was covered by the water is exposed. I like that as an image as well, the way things can be exposed by changes in environment. Tides are a big part of my thinking around this book. The way the moon pulls these huge bodies of water around, the way they kind of create these weather patterns deep below us. And then don’t even get me started about how humans began as fish, how the ocean must have some strange pull on us still.

One aspect that really stood out was the friendship between Carla and Duey, with the contrast between their interactions and their personal thoughts, and their awareness of the friendship’s decline. Was this relationship a difficult one to write?

For a long time, in the writing process, Carla and Duey had been lovers and it just wasn’t doing what I wanted it to do. We so often place the ‘sex’ relation above all other intimate relationships. I am really interested in friendship. I find it so interesting. What keeps friendships alive is so complicated but also so purely unselfish. I liked the idea that Carla and Duey were at a stage where the relationship (as if it were a separate thing from the two people in it) was in decline, like despite all their care and thought for each other nothing was going to save it. It was difficult to write because I don’t read many books about friendships that are like that, so in a way the models I had were very much about love and sex relationships. So it took some sorting out, like some real close work. The other thing that I loved about writing that relationship is that I think it is pretty cool how humans can think one thing and then act in a better way. I love how we do that for each other. I guess also, finally, I was interested in deconstructing some of the ‘work’ we do in human relationships. Like, I find people pretty confusing sometimes, a lot of the relating stuff doesn’t come automatically to me. So, I am often thinking a lot about what the right thing to say is or what a person is saying (like actually saying). It was fun to make some of that work apparent, to sort of uncover that and show it.

Reviews of The New Animals have generated some discussion about New Zealand literature and the reviewing process. What has it been like seeing the passion your work has brought out in people?

Writing is a weird thing. I really like the part of writing that takes place in a room by myself. I love working on something, like really working on something – crafting it and messing it up and having to fix it and ​living with it. I find I get so ‘into’ that work (like I literally feel like I climb inside the story) that I forget that other people will read it. So yeah, sometimes publication is a bit of a shock. Like I remember after my first book was published someone I didn’t know said to me, ‘I read your book,’ and I was like, ‘I never said you could.’ I just forget that people will read it. So, it’s pretty amazing when people I respect say they like what I’ve written. People will email me and tell me in person and it means heaps because I’ve sort of ‘shown my hand’ as a human. I’ve said, ‘I made this. I think this is how life is awesome,’ and when someone says, ‘I see what you’ve made and it made me think this is how I think life is awesome,’ that is just incredible. I love how art can do that and I’m not sure much else can. I put a lot of stake in passion. I love the way, in my life, I have been granted the opportunity to come into contact with many people who make me feel passionate and I just get fired up about the idea that our work sort of sparks off each other. Like no matter what is going on. No matter what other people are saying about our work, we can sustain ourselves. It’s like the biggest collaboration. Because although I love those times by myself working, I am never far from the work of others, I will be reading those writers to keep me going, to keep me passionate.

Pip Adam's The New Animals