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The Bookseller at the End of the World

‘An extraordinary story… illegal gambling, pirates and numerous personal tragedies, all punctuated by warm stories from her bookshops and an ultimately resolved love story. It makes my life look pretty dull.’
—Shaun Bythell, author of The Diary of a Bookseller

Ruth Shaw is a charming bookseller with two wee bookshops in the deep south of New Zealand.

In her remarkable memoir, Ruth weaves together entertaining stories of the characters who visit her bookshops, musings about favourite books, and bittersweet stories from her full and varied life.

She’s sailed through the Pacific for years, been held up by pirates, worked at Sydney’s Kings Cross helping drug addicts and prostitutes, campaigned on environmental issues, and worked the yacht Breaksea Girl with her husband, Lance.

Underlining all her wanderings and adventures are some very deep losses and long-held pain. Balancing that out is her beautiful love story with Lance, and her delightful sense of humour.

Ruth’s story will make you weep and make you laugh and make you want to visit her bookshops!

You can also read the first chapter of The Bookseller at the End of the World


A book that is ultimately about human frailty and decent humanity. Breath-taking on so many levels.

This is so great! Yahoo! People are going to love it.

The Bookseller at the End of the World by Ruth Shaw

Out 29 March from Allen & Unwin

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