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No. 10 (April 1955)
– 49 –


One of the functions of fiction is to entertain. But the writer of good fiction sets out to do more than just that. If you take a close look at a short story, you will usually find that the author, as well as spinning a yarn, has told you something about his attitudes to life in general.

Whether you are interested in these underlying ideas, or in descriptions of particular times, places, and people, I think you will be attracted, as a New Zealander, to this volume of short stories about New Zealand.

It is sometimes interesting, and often sobering, to see ourselves as others see us. We discover features a mirror never reveals. In these stories you will read about the kind of people you know, the places you have lived in or hope to visit some day, the work you do and the recreation you find, and perhaps the way you feel about it all.

Nearly a quarter of these stories have Maori themes. Writing about Maoris has always proved a ticklish business for New Zealand authors. Too many of them have been hampered by their own private dissatisfactions and the conviction that the grass on the other side of the fence (the Maori side) is greener. Their