Bruce is the author of 11 books, including Coast which won the NZ Post Book Awards in 2014. His last book, Wild Journeys was published in 2018, and was a bestseller. But it’s Down South which sums up a lifetime’s work and fascination for Bruce.
He has spent much of his life in the South Island. He was raised in New Brighton, Christchurch, and has lived in Dunedin, Christchurch, the Marlborough Sounds, and Golden Bay. He has grown up with the south's people, its cities, towns, rivers, mountains, bush, and plains. He has picked tobacco in Motueka, been a commercial fisherman in Fiordland, and a deer farmer on Banks Peninsula. He has worked in radio, television, and newspapers in the south too. For almost a quarter of a century, he was the Christchurch-based writer for the NZ Listener magazine, until he became a full-time author.
As a writer, tramper, and traveller, and being professionally nosy, he has poked into many corners of the island, although nowhere near all of them: he finds the south and its people endlessly fascinating. He now lives on Waiheke Island to be close to his family, but his heart remains in the south.
Bruce Ansley at DWRF 2021:
Rivers, Riptides & Roads
Photo credit: Jane Ussher