Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Massey author’s The Naturalist tops bestseller list

Massey author’s The Naturalist tops bestseller list

Massey University author Dr Thom Conroy’s novel The Naturalist is the current bestseller in New Zealand fiction.

Dr Conroy’s novel is a historical tale based on a true story set in 19th century New Zealand, Germany and London. Its central character is German naturalist, botanist and explorer Dr Ernst Dieffenbach, who championed equality between races, was fluent in Mäori and was known for his rebellious stand as a young student supporter of democracy in Germany.

On topping the Neilsen Weekly Bestseller list at one notch above Man Booker prize-winner The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton, Dr Conroy says it’s been “satisfying and deeply humbling to know so many people are interested”.

The Naturalist, published earlier this month by Random House New Zealand under its Vintage label, is the result of six years’ research and writing. One of Dr Conroy’s main sources was Dieffenbach’s two-volume Travels in New Zealand, an account of his 18-month exploration of New Zealand’s land, people, following his voyage from London aboard the Tory.

The creative writing senior lecturer in the School of English and Media Studies at the Manawatü campus says he was struck by what he read about Dieffenbach while researching natural history for another project. He felt the German deserved more attention in light of his colourful personality and experiences
at the onset of New Zealand’s colonisation.

Among the milestones of Dieffenbach’s time in pre-settler New Zealand were; being the first European to reach the summit of Mt Egmont (Taranaki), and writing the first Māori dictionary and grammar.

Since launching in early August, the book has been well-reviewed and had wide media coverage, including an interview with National Radio’s Kim Hill.

American-born Pennsylvanian Dr Conroy, who has lived in New Zealand for nine years, drew on extensive historical records and research, inventing some scenes and additional minor characters to bring the German’s remarkable personality ad story to life. He hopes hisf ictional rendition of Dieffenbach’s story will have wide appeal – especially to those

intrigued by influential yet marginalised historical figures who provide fresh clues to the tangents and nuances of New Zealand’s colonial history.

Listen to Dr Thom Conroy’s interview with Kim Hill here.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

NZ On Air TV Funding: More Comedy Comes Out Of The Shadows

Paranormal Event Response Unit is a series conceived by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi as a TV spin-off from their highly acclaimed feature film What We Do In The Shadows. More>>

ALSO:

Mars News: Winners Announced For The 2016 Apra Silver Scroll Awards

Wellington singer-songwriter and internationally acclaimed musician Thomas Oliver has won the 2016 APRA Silver Scroll Award with his captivating love song ‘If I Move To Mars’. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Salt River Songs by Sam Hunt

Colin Hogg, a longtime comrade of Sam, writes in his Introduction that, ‘There is a lot of death in this collection of new poems by my friend Sam Hunt. It’s easier to count the poems here that don’t deal with the great destroyer than it is to point to the ones that do.’ More>>

Electronica: Restoring The World’s First Recorded Computer Music

University of Canterbury Distinguished Professor Jack Copeland and UC alumni and composer Jason Long have restored the earliest known recording of computer-generated music, created more than 65 years ago using programming techniques devised by Alan Turing. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Almost Getting Away With Murder

The Black Widow by Lee-Anne Cartier: Lee-Anne Cartier is the sister of the Christchurch man found to have been murdered by his wife, Helen Milner, after an initial assumption by police that his death, in 2009, was suicide. More>>

Howard Davis: Triple Echo - The Malevich/Reinhardt/Hotere Nexus

Howard Davis: The current juxtaposition of works by Ralph Hotere and Ad Reinhardt at Te Papa perfectly exemplifies Jean Michel Massing's preoccupation with the transmigration of imagery in a remarkable triple echo effect... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news