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Penguin celebrates Micheal King

02 August 2004

Penguin celebrates Micheal King by reissuing his most controversial work

When Being Pakeha by Dr Michael King was first published in 1985, it was acclaimed as being the first serious analysis of what it meant to be a non-Maori New Zealander.

More than a decade later in 1999, the original text was rethought, rewritten, expanded considerably and released as Being Pakeha Now by Penguin Books.

After the tragic death of Michael King in March 2004, lifelong friend and publishing director for Penguin Books NZ Geoff Walker felt the time was right to reissue the popular book.

“There is clearly a strong demand at the moment for books which say something constructive about the current race relations debate,” says Mr Walker.

“The huge success of The Penguin History of New Zealand has been evidence that people will seize upon a book which provides some answers about who we are and where we’ve come from.

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“Being Pakeha Now has long been regarded as Michael’s most important book, and it is all the more significant because with his death it is all we will ever have by way of extended autobiographical reflection,” he says.

The reissue is complete with a superb new foreword by Kerry Howe, professor of history at Massey University.
“The message is that being Pakeha is worth no more or less than being Maori. Maori and Pakeha are both indigenous to New Zealand. His claim that it was basically alright to be Pakeha, first aired in the mid-1980s, was then very courageous, given a political climate where Pakeha were increasingly encouraged to feel guilty about the sins of their forefathers,” states Professor Howe. Part memoir, part apologia and part celebration of a country and its peoples, Being Pakeha Now is an exciting and controversial journey into the hinterland of the national psyche by New Zealand's most respected writer of history and biography.

Being Pakeha Now is re-released by Penguin Books on August 3rd for $35.00.

ENDS

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