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Penguin History a sell-out

Penguin History a sell-out

The Penguin History of New Zealand by Michael King has sold out its entire 10,000 copy print run just ten days after publication. The reprint has an estimated delivery time of mid-November.

“We’re delighted for Michael, particularly at this difficult time in his life. What a success. A complete sell-out of 10,000 copies in such a short time is a magnificent tribute to both the book itself but also to Michael’s qualities as an historian,” says Penguin Publishing Director Geoff Walker.

Books are still available at most bookstores, although booksellers are struggling to keep up with demand.

“The Penguin History of New Zealand has been phenomenal for us, and whilst we always expected that a new book from Michael King would do well, the speed of sale on this one has taken us all by surprise. All our stores had good stocks on publication day, but many of them had sold out by the end of the day, and we have been running to catch up ever since,” says Whitcoulls National Book Manager, Joan MacKenzie.

The sell-out success is evidence of how fascinated New Zealander’s are in their country and its history.

Reviews of The Penguin History of New Zealand reinforce the book’s success: “If they [Maori and Pakeha] read this book – and they must – there will be even less -over 2/ excuse for clinging to their more extreme and outmoded prejudices, for its very essence is its moderation and reasonableness; its balance and tolerance. It is the summation of 30 years of meticulous research…” Edmund Bohan, The Press.

Published on 13 October, the book casts new light on areas of our history previously unknown or only peripherally explained. It is also controversial: among claims made, Michael King says that Aotearoa was not the traditional Maori name for New Zealand; and that Waitangi Day is a poor choice for New Zealand’s national day as it is always an occasion for disharmony.

Michael King was the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement at a ceremony held at Parliament Buildings on 6 October. He is currently undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cancer of the throat and lymph glands.

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