WRITING AT THE EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE looks at New Zealand literature at a time when it is thriving as never before. For many years a marginal activity in a country where sheep and rugby concentrated the national vision, writing is now generously supported by the government, promoted with festivals, and showered with awards. Writers are made national treasures, their manuscripts acquired by libraries, their lives made the subjects of biographies. When our major writers die the whole nation mourns. This book celebrates the maturity that places writing at the centre rather than the outskirts of national life and marks the coming of age of New Zealand literature. But it also examines and questions the contentious issues about the state of our writing: the power of the creative writing programme, the globalising influence of the publishing industry and international styles, the directions of Maori writing, the place of nationalism in creative activity, the importance of state funding. It marks the broadening of the literary scene with examinations of children's writing and comics. Lively, various, contentious, considered - the essays in this book will deepen and extend the debates about our literary culture, provide considered information for teachers, students and writers, and enrich the production of that literature.When our major writers die the whole nation mourns. This book celebrates the maturity that places writing at the centre rather than the outskirts of national life and marks the coming of age of New Zealand literature.
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