There is so much diversity in the work presented – some of it written from the point of view of the migrant or even observer. The vantage point changes. The two editors, Julianne Schultz and Lloyd Jones open the book by orienting the reader, providing a kind of guide to modern New Zealand – from the indigenous history to the transition to the current polyglot nation “where all children learn Maori in school” and Auckland is one of the “most cosmopolitan cities in Australasia, boasting 160 ethnicities…” Roberto Onell takes a Chilean perspective, looking eye-to-eye across the Pacific Ocean to his neighbour 9,700 kms away. His essay, “To a neighbour I am getting to know” is translated, as are a number of the pieces in the books, also reflecting the polyglot nature of New Zealand. Following Onell’s essay is Li Po’s poem, translated from Chinese by New Zealand poet Ya-Wen Ho.
By the end of the first month, it would be a rare writer who wasn’t writing more, even if they don’t decide to specifically do the writing exercises. There are simply so many ideas, so much encouragement, and so much that is evocative and challenging in A Writer’s Book of Days. Sensitive, informative, practical, and fun to read, this is a book to take with you; a portable and inexpensive writing class, and continual source of inspiration.