Davey Gunn lived 30 years in Fiordland's rugged Hollyford Valley, where he had one of the most isolated cattle runs in New Zealand. When he moved there in 1926 he left behind his wife and children - and civilisation- for a tough and solitary life he grew to love.
Although quiet and modest by nature, Davey became known throughout New Zealand as a back-country hero for his 20-hour journey to raise the alarm after a fatal plane crash at Big Bay on 1936. His efforts saw the four survivors rescued, and the legend of Davey Gunn began.
Against the almost insuperable odds of difficult country, isolation, the Depression, the depredations of a burgeoning deer population and the constant threat of losing his short-term leases, Davey wrestled to make a living from his largely wild cattle.
He was also keen to open up and share the land he loved, and in the mid-1930s pioneered guided walking and riding trips in the Hollyford and Pyke Valleys. Hollford Camp, also known to this day as Gunns Camp, is testament to the efforts of this true No.8 wire man, who did more than any other individual to alert travellers throughout New Zealand and the world to the unparalleled beauty of this part of Fiordland.
It is somehow fitting that, on Christmas Day 1955, the Hollyford River eventually claimed this remarkable man. The Land of Doing Without brings to life the memories of many of Davey's contemporaries, and explores the man behind the legend: his quirks, his fortitude and his legacy.
$29.99
Originally published in 2001, A City Possessed is the harrowing account of one of New Zealand’s most high-profile criminal cases – a story of child sexual abuse allegations, gender politics and the law. In detailing the events of the 1990s that led up to and surrounded the allegations made against several staff of the Christchurch Civic Crèche, author Lynley Hood shows how and why such a case could happen. A City Possessed won the Montana Medal for Non-Fiction at the 2002 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. Her penetrating analysis of the social and legal processes by which the conviction of Peter Ellis was obtained, and repeatedly upheld, raises major issues for our justice system and the way we see ourselves. Peter Ellis served seven years of a 10-year jail sentence for abusing seven children at the Christchurch Civic Crèche. He has always maintained his innocence, and has gained widespread support for what many see as a miscarriage of justice. This paperback edition comes at a time when Peter Ellis and the Christchurch Civic Crèche case have returned to public attention. In July 2019, a terminally ill Ellis was granted a final appeal to the Supreme Court, scheduled for November 2019.
$49.95
Darkly comic, surreal and full of perceptiveness about human vulnerability and eccentricity, Frankie McMillan’s small fictions often duck and dive away from the reader’s expectations. With a poet’s sense of how single words or phrases ripple out with alternate meanings, and a dramatist’s feeling for how apparently small gestures reveal character, and how sudden, cataclysmic change can wrench us out of comfort, routine and unthinking assumptions, the author leaves us ransacking the language for finer genre definitions. This collection teems with both the animal world and a vivid circus of quirky human individuals. The pieces globe-trot all over the planet: from Russia to America to New Zealand; and yet often their piquant wisdom comes from how they bear down into ‘micro-geography’ of intimate relationships: the troughs, peaks, cliff-sides, the warm, still pools of recognition. Frankie McMillan is like a quietly outrageous Zen master, showing us human folly and idiocy, steering us carefully over the dark river of vulnerability that swells under it all. "The Father of Octopus Wrestling, and other small fictions" is an artisan production, designed and printed by Ilam Press, Ilam School of Fine Arts.
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