I was so impressed with Matt’s skills and gentle approach when he edited my astronomy book Southern Skies. He picked up mistakes I had missed during countless readings, and adjusted clumsy phrasings and grammar errors while somehow ensuring my voice remained in the text. He made the copy much better than when he found it, but left no fingerprints at all. I would love to work with him again.
—Naomi Arnold, Southern Skies (HarperCollins, 2019)
Here are some books I’ve edited recently. To discuss an edit, contact me.
Billy Apple: Life/Work by Christina Barton (Auckland University Press, 2020). This is the authoritative book on one of New Zealand’s most provocative and enigmatic artists. Tina Barton, director of the Adam Art Gallery, Wellington, gained unique access to Billy’s archive – and the artist himself – in order to research this fascinating monograph, from his RCA days in London, through the New York period, to his final years. Hardback, full colour, 400 pages.
Our First Foreign War by Nigel Robson (Massey University Press, 2021). Impeccably researched from newspaper and official archives, this monumental and detailed study into the South African War looks not at the fighting itself, but at the impact on people and society. Soft cover, full colour, 416 pages.
Endless Sea Text by Frances Walsh, photographs by Jane Ussher (Massey University Press, 2020). This beautifully written and presented book tells the history of Aotearoa’s connections with the sea, through selected artefacts from the New Zealand Maritime Museum in Auckland. Hardback, full colour, 264 pages.
Te Hei Tiki: An enduring treasure in a cultural continuum by Dougal Austin (Te Papa Press, 2019). Dougal presents a history and appraisal of the Māori human figure adornments known as hei tiki, drawing chiefly on the outstanding examples in the collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Hardback, full colour, 288 pages.
I Have Loved Me a Man: The life and times of Mika by Sharon Mazer (Auckland University Press, 2018). Mazer gets up close and personal with the one, the only, the out-and-proud Mika: the ‘queer brown boy from Aotearoa who took on the big white world’. Flexicover, full colour, 288 pages.
Tōtara by Philip Simpson (Auckland University Press, 2017). This is one of a succession of ‘tree’ books by Philip, covering every aspect of the tōtara, from botanical and ecological to cultural/historical. The book was shortlisted for the Ockhams Illustrated Non Fiction Award 2018. Hardback (out of print), soft cover, full colour, 300 pages.
Strangers Arrive by Leonard Bell (Auckland University Press, 2017). The lives and careers of some of the artists, photographers, writers, critics and architects who fled totalitarian regimes in Europe for a new start in New Zealand. As others did in the US (Mies, Gropius, etc.), these émigrés added a distinctively ‘other’ flavour to our local culture. Strangers Arrive was shortlisted for the Publishers’ Association NZ Book Design Awards 2018. Hardback, full colour, 320 pages.