New Zealand Book of Beasts
A groundbreaking examination of the interactions between humans and ‘nonhuman animals’ – both real and imagined – in New Zealand’s arts and literature, popular culture, historiography, media and everyday life. The Book of Beasts touches on topics as diverse as moa-hunting and the SPCA, pest-control and pet-keeping, whaling and whale-watching. It focuses on species ranging from sheep to sperm whales and from pekapeka to possums. You will discover in the the works of authors and artists as various as Samuel Butler and Witi Ihimaera, Lady Mary Anne Barker and Janet Frame, Michael Parekowhai and Don Binney, Bill Hammond and Fiona Pardington, the influence of 'beasts'. In examining literature, art and culture the authors tell us a great deal about our society and culture: how we understand our own identities and those of others; how we regard the natural world. This is an engaging, original and scholarly rigorous book of cultural criticism and a thoughtful addition to New Zealand literature.