Academic Pubblications

Spiritcarvers: Interviews with Eighteen Writers from New Zealand

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In a land caught between the sea and cloud, where the natural landscape still refuses civilization, there are those; the composers of words, tellers of tales, that help shape the minds of the people that live on its shores. They are spiritcarvers. New Zealand writing today is engaging in an intent struggle to subvert multiple shapes into voices. These interviews, as a record of biographical orature, are shaped into presenting the figure of the storyteller through memory and language; explorations of how we imagine and create ourselves with and into words. Here we encounter the dichotomy of fiction and non-fiction, myth and consensual reality, imagination and truth: do we live within our own selected fictions? Identity is shaped by the authors’ sense of displacement as well as of belonging-meeting otherness with dispossession, discovering connection through isolation. Among the focal points of the interviews are the role of women’s writing, Maori writing, interrelations among different cultures, and the influence of literary and oral tradition within New Zealand.

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Antonella Sarti Evans