The Lobster’s Tale

Chris Price and Bruce Foster

book cover for The Lobster’s Tale
Title Info Sheet Sample Pages

Hard cover


‘What’s the lobster’s tune when he is boiled?’

Exploring the lobster’s biology and its history in language, literature and gastronomy, The Lobster’s Tale navigates the perils of a life driven by overreaching ambition and the appetite for knowledge, conquest and commerce. In conversation with the text, Bruce Foster’s photographs navigate a parallel course of shadows and light, in which the extraordinary textures and colours of the natural world tell a darker story. The Lobster’s Tale is a meditation on the quest for immortality on which both artists and scientists have embarked, and the unhappy consequences of the attempt to both conquer nature and create masterpieces. Meanwhile, below the waterline of text and images, a modest voice can be overheard whispering an alternative to these narratives of heroic and doomed exploration.

The Lobster’s Tale brings together award-winning writer Chris Price and distinguished photographer Bruce Foster. It is the third in the kōrero series of ‘picture books’ edited by Lloyd Jones, written and made for grown-ups and designed to showcase leading New Zealand writers and artists working together in a collaborative and dynamic way.

To look inside, click here.

‘In its understated way, this ‘tale’ of the lobster or of where the quest for it might end up is typical of Price’s engrossing and distinctive interweaving of anecdote, of histories both natural and cultural; and of a fabulous cast of characters gathered together around the edges or shorelines of Bruce Foster’s visual field, all under the lobster’s 180º field of x-ray scanner vision’ — Ian Wedde, ANZL

‘The standard all university presses and publishers of literary works, artists’ monographs and photobooks should aspire to’ — PhotoForum

‘An intelligent and beautiful picture book. A philosophical underwater exploration under a guise of absurdity’ — ArtZone

‘It is a work of art. It is beautiful. The Lobster’s Tale is more than just a homage to one of gastronomy’s greatest accomplishments. It is a metonym for where we are right now as a people, and where we are going’ — Chris Reed, NZ Booklovers

‘There’s an elegiac serenity to the images, which are not directly illustrative but lead a life of their own’ — Paul Little, North & South

  • CATEGORY: Art, design and architecture, Literature
  • ISBN: 9780995137813
  • PUBLISHER: Massey University Press
  • IMPRINT: Massey University Press
  • PUBLISHED: 07/10/2021
  • FORMAT: Hard cover
Profile image for Chris Price

Chris Price is an author and is the convenor of the MA workshop in poetry and creative non-fiction at the IIML.

Profile image for Bruce Foster

Bruce Foster’s current photographs consider the impacts on nature of political decisions and corporate actions.