So here I am walking again an old path made new by the very fact that I am upon it once more, accompanied by familiar hordes: the fecund majority of the dead, the myriad of the living in all of their many forms, defunct, mutant, revenant or otherwise, traversing memory’s infinite field.
In the evocative prose that makes him one of our finest writers, Martin Edmond recalls his experiences of growing up in rural New Zealand in the 1950s and 60s. The son of schoolteachers, Edmond’s early life was shaped by his father’s developing career and the moves it dictated: from Ohakune, to Greytown, to Huntly, to Heretaunga.
The Dreaming Land shows us the making of a thinker and a writer. Edmond documents the people, locations, and events that made a lasting impression on him, and maps the development of his mental landscape – a landscape marked by curiosity, empathy and the capacity for acute observation.
It is a book that is at once personal and universal, charting formative moments yet filled with details that resonate more broadly. The Dreaming Land pushes at the boundaries of what can be remembered to create a narrative that absorbs, illuminates and enchants.
One of Auckland Libraries' 'Top 100 books of 2015', Auckland Libraries, December 2015
'The Best Books of 2015 According to a Panel of 10 Experts', Peter Simpson, The Spinoff, 1 December 2015
'Martin Edmond's The Dreaming Land captures a Kiwi childhood', David Herkt, Stuff, 8 November 2015
'Martin Edmond's barefoot years', Lynn Freeman, Standing Room Only, Radio New Zealand, 8 November 2015
'Martin Edmond: dreaming and remembering', Philip Matthews, Sunday Star Times, 1 November 2015
Podcast and photos of the launch of The Dreaming Land, Auckland Central Library, 20 October 2015
'AFTERGLOW: The Dreaming Land by Martin Edmond', Unity Books on the launch of The Dreaming Land, 23 October 2015
'Edmond frequently takes a Kerouac-esque spin on it, as he does in his latest book The Dreaming Land.' Andrew Paul Wood, Sydney Review of Books, 19 July 2016
'To my mind, The Dreaming Land stands up well alongside Edmond's other writing. ... Time proceeds ... not as one thing marching on to the next, but as a kind of accumulation of experience. This accumulation works to do justice to the strangeness of what it is to be alive, to grow up, to change, and for the world to change around us.' Ingrid Horrocks, New Zealand Books, Autumn 2016
'Suffice to say that it’s a top-shelf evocation of a New Zealand childhood and adolescence, up there with Dan Davin’s Southland stories.' 'Mooning Around', Lindsay Rabbitt, Landfall Review Online, 1 April 2016
'This book would make an excellent gift, especially for someone who grew up in the book’s timeframe. It’s easy to read, very memory-inducing but never trite. A great read.' Marion Dreadon, Booksellers New Zealand, 23 December 2015
‘A very deep piece of sustained writing that would have required courage to recall and confront.’ New Zealand’s Canvas Magazine Recommends, 3 December 2015
‘This autobiographer is not settling scores so much as accounting for how he became what he did. … a penetrating look at the expanding awareness of a child and adolescent. Beautifully written, too.’ Nicholas Reid, New Zealand Listener, 22 October 2015