World Book Day 2016

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This Saturday, 23 April, is officially World Book Day, so we thought it was the perfect time to highlight the work of an author from Escalator Press, an imprint set up by the Whitireia Creative Writing programme to publish work by new and established writers associated with Whitireia, including Adrienne Jansen, Rudy Castañeda López, Kate Carty and Janet Colson.

Waitapu coverIrina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General, describes World Book Day as "an opportunity to recognise the power of books to change our lives for the better, and to support books and those who produce them."

Helen Waaka, who has a Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing from Whitireia, last year released Waitapu, a collection of 18 short stories that cracks open the image of rural tranquillity to reveal the heartbreak and kindness of everyday life.

A review of Waitapu in the Listener said Waaka "explores small-town living, and what it means to be Māori, with compassion but without glossing over the negatives. Her characters are recognisably real."

Late last year, Waaka spoke to Radio New Zealand’s Lynn Freeman about Waitapu. Listen to the interview, or here to read an excerpt from the book at Escalator Press.