In his introduction to this anthology, Witi Ihimaera describes Auckland, Tamaki makau rau, as the place desired by many. The variety in this absorbing collection of short stories, poetry and extracts from novels and memoirs shows that while Auckland may not always have been desirable, it has certainly fascinated generations of very different writers, who have explored almost every part of this far-flung city. C.K. Stead and Maurice Gee, for example, go west, Tina Shaw and Diane Brown visit the city centre, Paula Morris and Peter Wells haunt the suburbs, while Robert Sullivan and Albert Wendt head south. Witi Ihimaera has skilfully constructed a literary map of the City of Sails: whether you are a tourist or a resident, an enjoyable journey is guaranteed.
Witi Ihimaera is one of New Zealand's most celebrated novelists and short story writers. The author of prize-winning novels including The Matriarch and Bulibasha is also a screenwriter and opera librettist and the editor of a monumental five-volume anthology of Maori writing, Te Ao Marama. His novel The Whale Rider has been made into one of New Zealand's most successful feature films, and his latest novel, his ninth, is Sky Dancer.