Editorial – Issue 1

J M Thomson: Books in society


Over the past decade New Zealand books have increasingly won international renown. Books are one of our chief cultural assets however undervalued they may be by economic policy makers. This publication appears at a time of financial stringency when new and arrogant strategies seem continually to regenerate themselves. Not only do we aim to provide a forum for the finest available writing and criticism of books, but for general issues concerning the quality of New Zealand life, and the preservation and enhancement of its artistic traditions.

We have assembled the journal during the publishers’ annual siesta before the new season in March and April. Basically, we have tried to notice important books which appeared within the immediately preceding period. Once under way we shall provide a regular and prompt commentary on leading publications. We want New Zealand Books to reflect all aspects of publishing, including design, to stimulate pride and critical concern in New Zealand writing, and in the quality of the excellent bookshops which make the country proportionately unparalleled in the world.


[John Mansfield Thomson was the founding editor of New Zealand Books.]

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