Beak of the Moon was the bestselling novel of 1981, an instant classic that has since been described as unique in New Zealand literature. Using kea as characters, the book is deeply and authentically rooted in this famous alpine parrot's raucous lifestyle and Southern Alps environment. In the remote valley of Kawee, the timeless world of the kea is suddenly disrupted when strange wingless birds appear. The destruction they bring causes hardship and corruption to kea society and forces young Strongbeak to flee the tyrannical boss Highfeather. Inspired by the prophecies of the great yellow kea, Glintamber, Strongbeak leads a group of rebellious young birds in a quest for a new world beyond the mountains. They seek adventure and discovery but instead become involved in farce and tragedy before they discover freedom in an unexpected way. In Beak of the Moon, Philip Temple has given us more than a great novel. It is a celebratory parable of the natural world of which we are all a part, a realm of myth for all to love and treasure. This new and revised edition brings his inspirational characters to life for another generation.
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Philip Temple has been writing and photographing for books about mountains for more than 40 years, leading the way in the history of mountaineering and the popular interpretation of our wild mountain landscapes in both fiction and non-fiction. His many books range across all genres and he has received numerous awards and fellowships. He has been made an ONZM for his services to literature and in 2005 received a Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement. In 2007 he graduated as Doctor of Literature at the University of Otago. He lives in Dunedin with his wife, poet and novelist Diane Brown.
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