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February 28, 2016 | by  | in Books |
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Tell You What: Great New Zealand Nonfiction 2016

★★★★★

 

Edited by—Susanna Andrew & Jolisa Gracewood

Publisher—Auckland University Press

 

 

You may have heard that investigative journalism is endangered in New Zealand. Funding cuts to television and print publications mean we see more Masterchef and less hard-hitting journalism. Despite this problem plaguing mainstream media, there are still a plethora of voices speaking truths and sharing knowledge—if only you know where to listen.

The second iteration of Tell You What: Great New Zealand Nonfiction has collected some of these voices for our reading pleasure. Gathered from blogs, memoirs, travelogues, and independent journalism, the stories included speak of wildly different experiences: from Sylvan Thomson writing about transitioning genders with the aid of testosterone; to Ali Ikram’s misadventures in interviewing the reclusive and obstinate Keri Hulme; and Jenni Quilter sharing her experience of undergoing IVF treatment. Plus, Lynn Jenner’s piece on recovering her mother’s heirloom ring from a wayward jeweller in the wake of the Christchurch earthquakes reads like a gripping Antiques Roadshow-esque thriller.

Many of the stories are deeply personal and emotionally honest. It is a privilege to be able to share in them. Others go beyond the personal, and demand urgent attention: Nicky Hager on the importance of whistle-blowing and protecting sources so that important stories continue to be told; Joe Nunweek on justice in the school system, and how an unfair expulsion can alter the course of a young person’s life; Charles Anderson’s piece on the Easy Rider boat disaster in Foveaux Strait, the greatest loss of life at sea in New Zealand since the Wahine tragedy. These are stories of national significance.

Tell You What is an important bastion of New Zealand nonfiction. It brings important voices to a wider audience, and encourages us to share our stories. Read it and discover for yourself.

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