In 1918, from deep within the West Coast bush, a miner on the run from the military wrote a letter to his sweetheart. Two months later he was in jail. Like millions of others, his letter had been steamed open by a team of censors shrouded in secrecy. Using confiscated mail as a starting point, Between the Devil and the Sea reveals the remarkable hidden history of nine writers caught in the web of wartime surveillance. From suspected spies to rebel workers, this riveting history from below brings the New Zealand home front to life like never before.
Loosely organised by theme, each chapter is written as a social biography and opens with the confiscated letter, published for the first time in over 100 years. Weaving through each chapter are connections between the writers and an over-arching story of state surveillance, class, and resistance.
Forthcoming, to be published in 2019