Tunes for Bears to Dance To: The Shaping of a New Zealand Writer

Bridget Williams Books
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I became aware of the fallibility of the real, that the splendidly detailed objective world of sound and colours, shapes and textures was not completely opaque, and that beneath it could be glimpsed the shimmer of things of great horror and ineffable joy.

He is one of New Zealand’s finest regional writers and a master of the short story, but despite his many accolades Owen Marshall continues to write under an assumed name. In this BWB Text Marshall reflects at length on his writing career, on the forces that have shaped him as a writer, on his intense admiration for Janet Frame and on his decision to concentrate on the short story form.
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About the author

Owen Marshall has written, or edited, over twenty-five books. He has held fellowships at the Universities of Canterbury and Otago, and in Menton, France. In 2000 he received the ONZM and in the same year his novel Harlequin Rex won the Montana New Zealand Book Awards Deutz Medal for Fiction. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Canterbury, which awarded him the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters in 2002. He was awarded the CNZM in 2012 for services to literature, and in 2013 received the Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement in Fiction.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Bridget Williams Books
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Published on
Dec 4, 2014
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Pages
50
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ISBN
9781927277829
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
History / Australia & New Zealand
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Mike Dash
From the bestselling author of Tulipomania comes Batavia’s Graveyard, the spellbinding true story of mutiny, shipwreck, murder, and survival.

It was the autumn of 1628, and the Batavia, the Dutch East India Company’s flagship, was loaded with a king’s ransom in gold, silver, and gems for her maiden voyage to Java. The Batavia was the pride of the Company’s fleet, a tangible symbol of the world’s richest and most powerful commercial monopoly. She set sail with great fanfare, but the Batavia and her gold would never reach Java, for the Company had also sent along a new employee, Jeronimus Corneliszoon, a bankrupt and disgraced man who possessed disarming charisma and dangerously heretical ideas.

With the help of a few disgruntled sailors, Jeronimus soon sparked a mutiny that seemed certain to succeed—but for one unplanned event: In the dark morning hours of June 3, the Batavia smashed through a coral reef and ran aground on a small chain of islands near Australia. The commander of the ship and the skipper evaded the mutineers by escaping in a tiny lifeboat and setting a course for Java—some 1,800 miles north—to summon help. Nearly all of the passengers survived the wreck and found themselves trapped on a bleak coral island without water, food, or shelter. Leaderless, unarmed, and unaware of Jeronimus’s treachery, they were at the mercy of the mutineers.

Jeronimus took control almost immediately, preaching his own twisted version of heresy he’d learned in Holland’s secret Anabaptist societies. More than 100 people died at his command in the months that followed. Before long, an all-out war erupted between the mutineers and a small group of soldiers led by Wiebbe Hayes, the one man brave enough to challenge Jeronimus’s band of butchers.

Unluckily for the mutineers, the Batavia’s commander had raised the alarm in Java, and at the height of the violence the Company’s gunboats sailed over the horizon. Jeronimus and his mutineers would meet an end almost as gruesome as that of the innocents whose blood had run on the small island they called Batavia’s Graveyard.

Impeccably researched and beautifully written, Batavia’s Graveyard is the next classic of narrative nonfiction, the book that secures Mike Dash’s place as one of the finest writers of the genre.


From the Hardcover edition.
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