Kirsty Gunn has written three short-story collections and five works of fiction, including her novel The Big Music, which won the New Zealand Post Book of the Year in 2013. She is a Professor of Writing Practice and Study at the University of Dundee, Scotland.

NYR DAILY

Deep in New Zealand

In the New Zealand of my childhood people used an expression within which was the nightmare of a place so overridden with manuka and scrub you might never escape it. This phrase, it seemed, existed permanently in a kind of future tense—that you might walk into and inhabit and be lost in: “Going Bush.” My father used to say it, about a friend who’d made the decision to go into remote and difficult country, allowing himself to be altered by that experience.