These sometimes savage, sometimes wry and rueful, always inventive stories evoke the reality of the South Pacific Zealand and environs - with its more market economy tourists and its wacky national pride. Several of the pieces, first collected in The New Land , won the 1990 Buckland Award for the best work of literature published in New Zealand. To South Pacific Bill Manhire adds new tales and other work. There’s a do-it-yourself murder mystery, the story of an assassination attempt on the Queen, the hilarious account of a Writers' Congress in Kuala Lumpur, and an unsettling, futuristic tale set in 1999. A vein of satire runs through Bill Manhire’s stories. Yet, rooted as many of them are in a particular place and time, the laughter they generate is anything but local.
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