‘World Book Day is an opportunity to recognise the power of books to change our lives for the better, and to support books and those who produce them.’
– Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General
Today, 23 April, is officially World Book Day, so we thought it was the perfect time to highlight the work of an author from Escalator Press, an imprint set up by the Whitireia Creative Writing programme to publish work by new and established writers associated with Whitireia, including Adrienne Jansen, Rudy Castañeda López, Kate Carty, Janet Colson and Helen Waaka.
Waaka, who has a Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing from Whitireia, last year released Waitapu, a collection of 18 short stories that cracks open the image of rural tranquillity to reveal the heartbreak and kindness of everyday life. A review of Waitapu in the Listener said Waaka ‘explores small-town living, and what it means to be Maori, with compassion but without glossing over the negatives. Her characters are recognisably real.’