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'A collection to be savoured.'

A stunning collection of Oceanic stories for the 21st century.

Stones move, whale bones rise out of the ground like cities, a man figures out how to raise seven daughters alone. Sometimes gods speak or we find ourselves in a not-too-distant future. Here are the glorious, painful, sharp and funny 21st century stories of Maori and Pasifika writers from all over the world. Vibrant, provocative and aesthetically exciting, these stories expand our sense of what is possible in Indigenous Oceanic writing.

Witi Ihimaera and Tina Makereti present the very best new and uncollected stories and novel excerpts, creating a talanoa, a conversation, where the stories do the talking. And because our commonalities are more stimulating than our differences, the anthology also includes guest work from an Aboriginal Australian writer, and several visual artists whose work speaks to similar kaupapa.

Join us as we deconstruct old theoretical maps and allow these fresh Black Marks on the White Page to expand our perception of the Pacific world.


Black Marks on the White Page showcases a multiplicity of voices and genres. It is, by turns, startling, beautiful, funny, challenging, forceful and delicate - a talanoa well worth joining.

Elizabeth Heritage, NZ Listener

This is a collection to be savoured, not read in one sitting. . . . The stories are interspersed with artworks from nine Pacific artists, which add a nice touch to the breathtaking stories. . . . this is an important collection of 21st century writing, showing a more sophisticated form and a coming of age . . . This is a hard-cover volume that can sit proudly next to foreign collections on any bookshelf, to be read over the years.

Linda Thompson, Bay of Plenty Times

When two of New Zealand’s finest writers of Maori descent combine their talents to select new writing from around the Pacific, there are high expectations for the results. Such hopes are amply fulfilled by this invigorating selection of mainly) new (mainly) prose, along with a small portfolio of visual artworks. . . . an engrossing read.

Paul Little, North and South

The editors have chosen writing ranging from 2007 to 2017, based on how they will help expand our world "aesthetically, politically, linguistically, and culturally". And this they do as each writer works with his or her own preoccupations, whether they be the dire contemporary state of the world, the role and appearance of art, or a fixation on languages, linguistics and semantics. . . . Like the title, these marks here inscribed upon the blank page fill in histories and storytelling from a multiplicity of fresh and uplifting perspectives.

Jessie Neilson, Otago Daily Times

In summary, every example of "story-telling" included in this anthology is more or less distinctive and fresh . . . it is a set of stories pushing against the boundaries of the dominant language, as if against the boundaries of the dominant culture, that makes this collection exceptional.

David Eggleton, NZ Books

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Formats & editions

  • Hardback


    July 3, 2017

    RHNZ Vintage

    336 pages

    RRP $39.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    July 3, 2017

    RHNZ Adult ebooks

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au



We hate blowflies. Their fat glossy eyes, green and blue, come to drone through the summer of our houses. Mean and heavy.

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Also by Witi Ihimaera

Sleeps Standing
Bulibasha Film Tie-In
Maori Boy
The Matriarch
White Lies
I've Been Thinking About You, Sister
The Thrill of Falling
Pounamu Pounamu (Anniversary Ed)
The Parihaka Woman
Nights in the Gardens of Spain
His Best Stories
The Matriarch
Pounamu Pounamu
The Whale Rider
Sky Dancer
The Dream Swimmer
The Uncle's Story
Uncle's Story


The Handmaid's Tale
To Kill A Mockingbird
A Gentleman in Moscow
Echo Burning
The Heart's Invisible Furies
The Girl on the Train
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
Dragonfly In Amber
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
Swing Time
The Bear and The Nightingale
The Golden Age
Tiger Men
Fifty Shades Darker
Ready Player One
The Light Between Oceans
A Long Way from Home
The Secret Vineyard
The Travelling Cat Chronicles
Uncommon Type