Christchurch Ruptures

Christchurch Ruptures

The devastating earthquake that hit Christchurch in 2011 did more than rupture the surface of the city, argues historian Katie Pickles. It created a definitive endpoint to a history shaped by omission, by mythmaking, and by ideological storytelling.

In this multi-layered BWB Text, Pickles uncovers what was lost that February day, drawing out the different threads of Christchurch’s colonial history and demonstrating why we should not attempt to knit them back together. This is an incisive analysis of the way a city’s character is interlinked with its geo-spatial appearance: when the latter changes, so too must the former.

What are BWB Texts?

BWB Texts are short books on big subjects by great New Zealand writers. Spanning contemporary issues, history and memoir, new BWB Texts are released regularly, and the series now amounts to well over fifty works.

All recently published BWB Texts can be purchased in print and digital formats using the ‘Buy’ or ‘Preorder’ buttons on this page. You can also subscribe to the series – a great gift idea! Find more information about subscription offers here.

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Print publication:
Ebook publication: Mar 2016
Pages: 198
RRP: $14.99
ISBN: 9780908321292
ISTC: A0220150000000FB
DOI: 10.7810/9780908321292

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Katie Pickles and David Coventry, Bookenz, Plains FM, 3 May 2016

'Sacred Turf', Philip Matthews, Academy of New Zealand Literature, 18 May 2016

'Shaking More Than the Earth', Judith Morrell Nathan, Scoop Review of Books, 7 April 2016

'New Zealand's statues of shame?', Katie Pickles on The Nation, Newshub, 2 April 2016

Katie Pickles on RDU 98.5FM, 31 March 2016

Seismics and the City 2016, presentation by Katie Pickles, 18 March 2016

Katie Pickles with Wallace Chapman, Sunday Morning, Radio New Zealand, 13 March 2016

'Ruptures: History crumbled in the Christchurch quakes and that's good', Will Harvie, The Press, 5 March 2016


Claudia Jardine, New Zealand Books, 7 December 2016

'As a person with a very deep interest in the impacts of disasters on communities, this book provides some thought-provoking insights into what the city may become.' Diane Turner, Te Karaka, 7 July 2016

'I found the 170 pages a deep but satisfying read.'Kathy Watson, Booksellers NZ, 31 May 2016

'A marvelously provocative treatise written with passionate vigour.' Christopher Moore, New Zealand Listener, April 2016.