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Browse the history of Waimakariri District
event was postponed and is now rescheduled for this date: Wednesday 18 April
Meet NZ author, Emma Stevens, at this Friends of the
Rangiora Library, Wednesday, 18 April 7pm. Book at any Waimakariri Library.
plane suddenly plunged, we were being thrown sideways straight at the looming
mountain walls, the clouds exposed rocks one moment, snow the next, the small
plane gradually righted itself but we were sinking into a canyon with walls of
- From Dancing on the Tundra, by Emma Stevens.
The Rangiora Library
is hosting an evening with Emma Stevens, a NZ teacher raised in Whanganui where
early contact with Maori profoundly influenced her life flowering into a lifelong
interest and work with indigenous cultures. Her story involves Yup’ik Eskimo
children, a Kiwi teacher and the watchful eyes of the entire Eskimo village.
Walking on Ice is the first book in a trilogy of
memoirs about Emma Stevens’ life changing decision to leave her beloved New
Zealand for bush Alaska: a world of snow and ice, caribou and bears. Convinced
by a friend to try on-line dating, Emma is surprised to find herself
corresponding with ‘Kotzman’, the principal of a high school in the Arctic
Circle in Alaska. They are worlds apart: while Emma is picking spring flowers,
Kotzman is ice fishing; Emma is wrapping up against the chill winds of an Otago
winter, while Kotzman enjoys summer caribou camp.
Nesting on the
Nushagak, book two of the trilogy, tells how Emma and her new husband begin
married life teaching in a remote Yup’ik Eskimo village in south western Alaska
where they face the isolation, bitter cold, and semi-dark of the long Alaskan
“After I resettled in
New Zealand with my husband, I began writing about my experiences with him in
Alaska. I had no idea that I was embarking on a whole new adventure - as
author, self-publisher and storyteller,” said Emma.
the third book, Dancing on the Tundraopens, Emma is adjusting to ‘city life’ in a small hub city in south
western Alaska with the man she married after an online romance blossomed into
love. Emma’s husband is now the superintendent of nine Eskimo village schools.
As bicultural coordinator, Emma flies to remote village schools to work with
local teachers, and organises a Spring Festival, uniting villages in a huge
“I have a selection
of artefacts from Alaska that includes many Eskimo dolls made from renowned
Cup'ik doll-makers. The dolls are excellent examples of cultural information,
some even come with personal stories about their lives, tucked into their
pockets by their doll-maker,” said Emma.
and meet NZ author, Emma Stevens, at this fascinating Friends of the
Library event. Emma will talk about her amazing life and adventures in remote
Rangiora Library, Wednesday, 18 April 7pm.
Memoirs will be available
Book at any Waimakariri Library or by phoning 03 311 8901.
Emma Stevens has taught in New Zealand, Australia,
England and the U.S. Previously married to an African American musician,
she attended the Grammy Awards and toured clubs in LA, London and the South of
France. Her way of life changed completely when, divorced and in her late
forties, she fell in love with the principal of an Inupiaq school in the Arctic
Circle, Alaska. The couple married, and Emma spent the next six years
working beside her new husband in the icy wilderness of bush Alaska. Emma and
her husband now live among orchards and vineyards just outside Nelson, in the
South Island of New Zealand, where the winters are mild and the summers are