A special investigation asks: Has much happened this year in New Zealand writing? Steve Braunias assesses the books of 2017 to date.
Nothing much has happened this year in New Zealand writing. It’s been pretty quiet. No new sensation, like Hera Lindsay Bird in 2016; a lot of stuff from Victoria University Press, some of it readable; trash from the mainstream publishers; an exciting anthology; and quite a bit of really good, really interesting work published on the outskirts of town.
A good book
Is Iceland, the debut novel by Dominic Hoey, the outstanding New Zealand novel of 2017? The nimble independent publisher Steele Roberts brought it out with very little fanfare but the book has caught on, especially in Auckland. Hoey’s book is set in Grey Lynn, and follows the goings-on of characters on the dole, characters on the game, characters on the needle. It’s kind of renegade literature – Hoey is outside