Civilisation, winner of the New Zealand Book Award for Non-fiction in 2013, is brilliant New Zealand journalist Steve Braunias at the peak of his powers, the scavenger of social lodestone, rich, fascinating and sometimes disturbing stories of settlements - from Kawakawa in the north, to Mosgiel in the south, and Samoa and Antarctica over the seas - and the people who live there, their lives, loves, aspirations, and sometimes dark secrets. This is a book that will enthrall all lovers of great travel writing and outrageous social comment. Jonathan Lorie, director of Travellers' Tales Festival, London, calls Braunias 'a writer the whole world would like to hear about'. He has won over 20 journalism awards, writes a weekly column for The New Zealand Herald, is books editor of leading culture websiteThe Spinoff, and author of eight critically acclaimed books."For three years, whenever I could, I went to places no one went to, drawn to their averageness, their nothingness, their banal and exhilarating New Zealandness - small towns, unremarkable suburbs, frozen bases and equatorial outposts ... wherever there was any sign of New Zealand civilisation. I chose them at random. I'd look at a map and say out loud, 'There.' People said, 'Where?' The next question they asked was, 'Why?' They especially asked that in the places I visited. They couldn't believe anyone would find where they lived of any interest. But the places were probably New Zealand at its best. I wanted to go and live in just about every one." - Steve Braunias
"Steve Braunias's work goes beyond what we expect in a travel article ... He shares with us the intimacies of people's lives, their thoughts and beliefs, the values of their communities, and so the deep meanings of places... A writer the whole world would like to hear about." - Jonathan Lorie, judge, 2012 Cathay Pacific Travel Writers' Awards.
GENERAL NON-FICTION CATEGORY WINNER - NEW ZEALAND POST BOOK AWARDS 2013
What the judges said: "Steve Braunias has a tremendous feel for character and language. There are passages that would be the envy of many a novelist. The book captures a New Zealand seldom written about and does so with a sense of, by turns, compassion, absurdity, occasionally anger, but mostly delight. That delight is completely contagious."
Steve Braunias has won over 20 journalism awards, a Montana Book Award, fellowships to Oxford and Cambridge Universities, and the Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship. He is a frequent speaker at writers' and readers' festivals, editor-in-residence at Wintec School of Media Arts, Hamilton, and writer for many primetime TV series. He was also a regular panellist on TVNZ7's The Good Word. This is his sixth book.
Apia -- Collingwood -- Greymouth -- Hauraki Plains (Elstow, Te Aroha & Kerepehi) -- Hicks Bay -- Maromaku Valley -- Mercer -- Miranda -- Mosgiel -- Mt Roskill [Auckland] -- Ohinemutu -- Pegasus -- St Bathans -- Scott Base -- Tangimoana -- Wainuiomata -- Waiouru -- Wanaka -- Whakarewarewa -- Whanganui -- Winton.