About Ivy Amelia Batistich (Barbarich)
Amelia Batistich, writer, speaks of her Dalmatian identity in the film "An Immigrant Nation - Dalmatian At Heart at http://www.nzonscreen.com/title/dalmatian-at-heart-1994
daughter of Pioneer settlers in Northern Wairoa, Northland New Zealand who had emmigrated from Dalmatia
Born in Dargaville....lived there till she was 11
Moved to Auckland.....fond of Greenlane Ellerslie and One Tree Hill
Attracted to English Literature in her early years
Married a Dalmatian who was working for her father who was managing a quarry in Mt Wellington
Had a strong fondness of writing about her Yugolsavian Heritage
Published many works and short sotires to magazines and literary periodicals
First book named....An Olive Tree in Dalmatia.....1963
Started writing seriously at the age of 44
When she died aged 89, she was preceded by her husband Anton and a daughter, Gloria
Amelia Batistich QSM Author
excert from the book
Amelia Batistich was born in Dargaville to early Dalmatian settlers. She has published her stories widely, especially in the School Journal, where she wrote particularly about ethnic minorities including Maori. Her most successful book was An Olive Tree in Dalmatia, which shows Dalmatian families moving gradually from one cultural identity to another in their adopted land. She has also published two novels based on her childhood and has made many public appearances talking about her work
Name: Amelia Batistich
Date of birth: 11 March 1915
Place of birth: Dargaville
Now living in: Greenlane, Auckland
What is your favourite food?
Jelly and ice cream
Do you have a nickname and if so what is it?
What was your most embarrassing moment?
When I opened up my last book A Better Life and read on page 2 that I had written that the line of the hymn I had quoted was from Abide with Me I know it was from Lead Kindly Light, not Abide. Once I left out a whole very important page of a story.
How do you relax?
Reading and watching the horses Trackside on Saturdays. Music.
Who inspired you when you were little?
My teachers, the Sisters of St Joseph and Sisters of the Mission who gave me a love of words in the poetry and songs they taught me.
What were you like at school?
TALKED too much always in trouble for that.
What was your favourite/most hated subject at school?
My favourite subject was History English too. My most hated subject was Art or what passed for Art in those days -Drawing.
What was the book you most loved as a child?
Seven Little Australians, by Ethel Turner
Which person from the past would you most like to meet?
I would like to meet Sir John Logan Campbell to thank him for his gift to Auckland, Cornwall Park.
Who is your favourite author/children's author?
Children's author Dr Seuss.
Author - either Ruth Park or Laurie Lee
Why did you want to be a writer?
I have told this story on the first page of A Better Life. I was in bed with measles about 9 years old reading a very sad book; I cried and I remember sitting up in bed and saying out loud "When I grow up I will write books that make people cry".
Do you have a special place where you write your books?
Yes. On my living room table. It used to be on my kitchen table when I was a younger writer. Nowadays, at my writing desk mostly.
What's the best thing and worst thing about being a writer?
The best thing is knowing that you are talking to your reader and (hopefully) telling them something they did not know before. The worst thing is what is called "writer's block" you can't write anything.
If you weren't a writer, what would you like to be?
A painter painting pictures, not walls
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Keep at it read the very best writers of yesterday and today. Write what you feel, not just what you want those who read you, will have them say how clever you are. Make them feel laugh smile cry and enjoy what you are writing. And look forward to the cheques they are so encouraging. And come in handy to pay bills; and buy more books for your library shelves.
Migrant women's writing in New Zealand: Amelia Batistich's three-dimensional world.
DOWNLOAD HER FIRST STORY.....AN OLIVE TREE IN DALMATIA
by Amelia Batistich
A short story by Amelia Batistich.
Sarajevo Grade. The words would come knelling into my thoughts as I sat there watching the six o’clock news. The Listener story on Sarajevo brought it all back to me again. Sarajevo Town! How often had I heard my mother sing to me about this place of legend and unhappy history. Long, keening folk ballads that came to be embedded in my memory of her, her thin voice enmeshing me in that storied world she came from – the world that had been hers, but was never mine.
My world was a New Zealand town by a river with a Maori name. My history books were English. Kings and Queens with names like Ethelred the Unready and Boadicea and Mary Queen of Scots I learnt about in my Convent school. I sang Irish songs about Killarney’s Lakes and Fells and The Harp That Once Through Tara’s Halls, and on Empire Day Parades I shouted out Land of Hope and Glory Mother of the Free with the best. I liked that one. I still stop and listen when it comes over the radio. Not very often these days, I add. Not much of the Hope and little of the Glory left.
In a busy life growing into the life of her new country New Zealand came to be my mother’s world too. Why would it not be? After that first homesick year she came to accept as her own the “better life” she had come here for. Home is where your get your bread and butter, our father taught us. And here was where we got our bread and butter, and jam too. Our laden table was testimony to that.
But when she was old, as I am old now, the work all done, my mother seemed to want her past back again.
Sitting at this table where I sit now, she told it all back to me as if she had never left it, peopling her long ago world with sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles and cousins, and ruling over them all, her mother, my Baba Manda, known to me only from the stern-faced portrait that ruled my childhood in the river town of Dargaville.
Sitting together, the two of us in the living room in Greenlane, my Mum never tired of the telling, I never tired of the listening, my mind making its own journey between past and present. Sometimes she told me the stories. Sometimes she sang them. Outside a tui sang in the fig tree that grew in our Greenlane back yard, but I was hearing the nightingale singing in grandmother’s laurel tree. As if I had entered some magical time warp, I was with the little girl reading to the women who had come to bake their -special loaves, in my grandmother’s brick oven, for the family Saints Days, crossing themselves as the girl read from the book of poems just published in Split, telling all about the hardships their sons endured on those cursed gumfields in New Zealand, waist-deep in mud, digging for that kauri gum. No Sundays in New Zealand, they wrote home. Even God does not know this place. Homes of sacks, beds of bracken and at the end of a week’s digging hardly enough to pay the storekeeper for their tucker. Ai-me! They cried to one another. Why have we sent our sons to in this godless place? Will we ever see them again!
The book the little girl was reading from was a collection of poems written by Ante Kosovich in 1908. Dalmatinac iz Tudjine he called his poems. (“From the Dalmatian in Exile” is the nearest I can get to the meaning in English translation.) That little girl was my mother, well contented with her life in New Zealand, singing me her songs of Sarajevo and the Kosovo Maiden, the Turkish Janissaries, those stolen Christian boys converted to Islam to become the crack troops of the Sultans, of star-crossed lovers fated by the unbridgeable divide of two faiths, Muslim and Christian. Songs half-sung, half-keened that she first learnt from the Herzegovinian women singing as they harvested the olives from her mother’s olive groves, black skirts billowing in the trees above her as she sat knitting and dutifully keeping count of the baskets as the women filled them. Six baskets for grandmother, two for the harvesters to carry home across the mountains to neighbouring Bosnia-Herzegovina that I first learnt about in my English history books. Annexation by Austria of Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1908 … Assassination of the Archduke Franz-Ferdinand in Sarajevo, 1914, the shot that echoed around the world. Austria invades Serbia, July 1914, the beginning of the blood-bath of the First World War. I knew all this had something to do with me, but then it was just as a likely question in the matriculation paper of that year.
I know better now. Sarajevo! Sarajevo! Sing no more sad songs for me.
Read some books written by Amelia Batistich
Never Lost for Words
This is an unusual and delightful book by a writer who first chronicled the experience of non-British immigrants in New Zealand in novels and stories written from the late 1940s to the 1990s. She conveyed with insight the lives of a Dalmatian community which found the landscape, language and customs alien and who dealt with this by work, laughter and by telling stories.
Here, in writing about her own life, Amelia Batistich has devised a distinctive structure in which an autobiographical narrative is interspersed with stories, written over many years, some previously published, some not. Thus 'at intervals the story of her life and the stories she was told are imaginatively transformed. A modest, domestic, humorous style rises to the lyrical, the eloquent and sometimes the fantastic.'
In Never Lost For Words Amelia Batistich gives a vivid demonstration of the complex relations between 'fact' and fiction, a moving image of what it is to be 'other' in this country and an engaging expression of an attractive warm personality and the people close to her.
From the Book
NEVER LOST FOR WORDS
Face framed in the blue Salvation Army bonnet, she smiled down on me from the cot rail. It is my earliest memory and I am probably about two years old, but the face and the bonnet stay with me, leaving me with a lifelong imprint that translates into a fascination with the Salvation Army lasses and their thrimming tambourines. I have only to hear the Sally band playing and I want to march to the beat of the drum, Catholic though I am from my mother's womb.
The place was Dargaville. The house was a cottage in Victoria Street where I was born and lived out my infant years. I was the eldest of a Dalmatian family, the first-born of six children. My mother wanted to name me Emilia, my father wanted Amalia, the Dargaville postmaster wanted neither. He registered me as Amelia, a sound English name. He had the same idea when he got to my second name. It was to be Ivka for my father's favourite sister, but no Ivka for him. He wrote down Ivy, another good English name. I didn't find out about the Ivy until I was well into my thirties, and there it was on my birth certificate, all official, not even Amelia Ivy, but Ivy Amelia.
I didn't think much of Ivka as my second name when I went to school, so I translated it to Eva till I was in Standard Four, when my second name blossomed into Evangeline, after I read Longfellow's poem, 'Evangeline'. Amelia Evangeline Barbarich looked good at the top of my essays. It more than made up for the 'ich' at the end of my name. Over the years even I came to forget that the Evangeline was a ring-in, hence the A. E. Batistich on the cover of my first book of stories, An Olive Tree in Dalmatia, and on the earlier School Journal stories. With all the Dargaville crop of Amelias, Milkas and Milicas I became translated into plain Millie, so Millie I was, except when I was in for the teacher's disapproval, and then it was Amelia Barbarich who was called up to the front of the class, and no mistaking why. It wasn't until the 1970s and I was working in the Auckland Teachers' College Library that Amelia bowed back in, both at work and on the covers of the School Bulletin.
Millie grew into my family name. My father always called me Millie and so did my brothers and sisters. But my mother often called me Amelia, and the way she said it Amelia sounded more Dalmatian than English. In my very early years she would have spoken little English, but in spite of her often-told early forebodings she did learn to speak, fluently enough, this hard English language, albeit accented with more than a dash of her Dalmatian.
She had come to New Zealand to marry my father in 1913. She was not one of the 'letter brides' that I wrote of in my early stories. My father, who had come to the New Zealand gumfields as a boy of sixteen in 1896, had saved enough money by then to make the return journey to Dalmatia to see his old father, my storied Dida Petar with the face of van Gogh's peasant, and no doubt, to find himself a wife. Which he did. In no time at all he had courted and won my mother, the girl Milka the young men from his village, Zaostrog, spoke of in their work camps.
The Dalmatians were beginning to move on by that time. There was enough money in the bank to put down as a deposit on a piece of land, acres of trenched gumfields waiting to be farmed. Oceans of sweat it would take, break your back, but it would be worth it -- a farm of your own! But a man needs a wife to work alongside him, a wife to share his bed and board. Not much chance with the 'English' girls. Write to your sister or cousin back home and tell her: Pick me a likely girl, willing to come to Nova Zelanda for the chance of a better life. Better, much better than she could ever hope to have at home.
But no chance with this Milka. She would not come 12,000 miles to marry any man on just his photograph and a letter. Too high and mighty, that one. It was this kind of talk that Jack Barbarich (who had translated himself from Ivan by that time) heard. He was thirty-one. High time he settled down with a wife. So maybe he did have this girl, Milka, in his sights when he went home to Zaostrog to see his father, the marks of prosperity on him: gold watch and chain, silver sovereign case swinging from the fob. Maybe it was golden Amerika that danced before Milka's eyes when, in due course, the betrothal was announced. She had two older sisters in New York and had had dreams of America for herself too.
Amerika turned out to be a place called Tangowahine, Tangi for short. Tangowahine, in Maori legend 'the place where the woman was taken'. Did the ghost of the Maori woman haunt that lonely place? The Dalmatian woman cried for the first six months. Is this America? she asked of her husband every night when he came home from his work, the drainage contract job a mile away. All day she stood at the gate, waiting, hoping to see another woman come down the track. No one. Not even the smoke from a neighbouring chimney to be seen. Yeli ovo Amerika?
I was walking home from the Ellerslie races when I saw the painting in the window of a picture-framing shop in the Harp of Erin. I stopped to look at it. The rough cottage was just like the one my mother described to me when she spoke of her first home in New Zealand, set in just such a scene of desolation. Stuck in the middle of nowhere, a little wooden house with a tin roof. Not even a proper road in front of it. Not another house in sight. After her village with family, neighbours, church and festivals woven into the fabric of her life, Tangi was every day the same. Not a feast day, nor a Sunday, not another woman to talk to. A house made of wood. A tin roof. Was this Amerika? No wonder she asked.
Lucky me. I had had a good day at the races: £25, the price ticket on the painting read. And I had just £25 in my purse, thanks to a winning bet or two. So in I went and bought the painting. I'm looking at it now. And I am remembering my mother after all her years in New Zealand, a long way from Tangi, silver tea service and English rose tea cups all ready for her afternoon tea party in the Mt Albert Road house. A long way from Tangi she had come indeed.
I wrote the story that follows not long before my mother died. It was after just such a tea party. She was so happy to be entertaining the first 'English' friend she made in New Zealand, the two of them grandmothers by then, remembering her introduction to the ritual of the New Zealand Afternoon Tea fifty years before.
The Tea Party
The last teaspoon was polished and set in its place by the rose teacup. Now the table was ready for afternoon tea. Mrs Adamich stood back to admire the picture that it made. The elegance of the rose teaset against the lace cloth, the silver dishes filled with the little sandwiches, the lace-edged serviettes. Then she shook out the hand-painted tea shower that lay across her arm and threw it across the table. The roses on the shower and the roses on the cups matched the carpet perfectly. She looked at the clock. It was time for her guests to be arriving. She was right, for at that very moment the front door bell rang.
Ping! Ping! Ping! It sounded through the house. They had come. She gave a last satisfied glance around the room and went to meet her friends. 'Mrs Verbin! Mrs Malich! Mrs Sebato!' She greeted each in turn. They followed her into the house, all smiling and talking at once, and into the bedroom where they took off their coats and hats and said how pretty the room looked -- all the little things you say at the beginning of a visit before the afternoon is properly warmed up.
Each felt a pleasant tingle of excitement at the thought of the gossip to be exchanged, the news to be told. It was a long time since they had spent such an afternoon, all four of them together. Mrs Adamich led her guests to the room she had prepared against their coming. It looked as if it was just waiting to receive them. The four high-backed chairs drawn up to the fire, their four matching cushions plumped into place. They sat down saying nothing for the moment, pleased just to be together.
Mrs Adamich was the first to break the silence. She was the hostess and it was her place to do so. She asked after Mrs Sebato's husband. Was he keeping well? As she spoke she heard with pleasure the chiming tune of the little clock playing the quarter-hour now. Mrs Malich looked up. 'Something new?' she said, smiling. They all knew Mrs Adamich's fondness for such pretty things. You never came to the house but you saw something new.
'A little piece, I just couldn't resist it!' Mrs Adamich did not like to admit to further extravagance, but she was pleased they had noticed the clock. It was a little French clock and it stood between a Dresden lady and gentleman looking at each other across the polished top of the mahogany cabinet. She went on quickly to ask about Mrs Malich's new daughter-in-law. Was she liking the new house?
Mrs Malich shrugged her shoulders. Why shouldn't she like it? It was much better than the house she had lived in when she was first married. It had certainly cost enough money! The young ones now wanted to start where their parents had left off. She pulled her face into lines of sad disapproval. What would have been wrong with Peter and Mary living in the big house with her?
'It is lonely when you are a widow. Your life is like your house. Empty.' She sighed, and Mrs Adamich and Mrs Verbin sighed with her. They were widows and they knew. Mrs Sebato looked sympathetically at the three of them. She could afford to. She was not a widow yet, and looked like not being one for a long time. Only last week her Andrea had been to Doctor McBride and he had hit him hard on the back -- 'Good for another twenty years!' he had told him. Andrea had come home laughing.
They settled into gossip. All had daughters-in-law. First they must talk about them, praising where praise was due, but criticising freely where it wasn't. 'The way they bring up the children!' Mrs Malich led the attack. 'It wasn't like that when we had ours. Plunket and kindergarten and bringing up your baby from a book!' The other three nodded sympathetically. 'My Tony's Gloria is just the same, and extravagant! Every time she comes to see me she is wearing a new dress! And she must have a car of her own and a stove that cooks the dinner by itself.' Again the heads were shaken. 'My Ivan's Nellie, too!' Mrs Adamich was not to be outdone. 'Thirty guineas she paid for a dress for the ball!'
'But you can tell them nothing . . . nothing . . .'
'Still they don't mind enjoying the money we worked so hard to make!' The three widows took up the theme. All were comfortably off, but their sons' wives were mistresses where they once ruled. 'When a woman loses her husband she loses everything!' It was Mrs Malich who made the statement. But Mrs Sebato didn't want to be excluded. 'Andrea and I, too!' she said. 'It is the same for us. We are too "old", the boys say. We should take it easy. As long as they pay us the money from the farm every month, what else do we want? Andrea, he gets wild. "I make that farm with my bare hands out of the bush and you take it off me like that!" he says. The boys laugh -- but it is their way that goes, not ours!'
But for all their talk they were very proud of their sons and the fact they could give their wives so much, and when they had exhausted the subject they turned to speak of their daughters, all of them successfully married off now with families of their own. Each was inclined to be a little boastful. Their girls had virtues their daughters-in-law could hardly match. Whose children, after all, were they? From them they passed on to speak of their grandchildren. The four grandmothers compared, analysed.
'Little Peter looks just like my brother in America . . .'
'Susan is very clever at her music. The sister is very pleased . . .'
'Lily's David has jumped two classes already!'
'The brothers say Philip should be a doctor!'
Pride and love glowed on each face as they strove in gentle rivalry with one another. The clock ticked on between the Dresden figurines. Yes. The afternoon was a great success. Mrs Adamich looked around the room. It had never looked richer. She was especially pleased with the new mahogany cabinet that showed off her crystal so well. It had cost a lot of money, but why shouldn't she have all she wanted? It had taken a long time to get it.
Mrs Verbin broke across her thoughts. 'That is a new piece, isn't it, Mrs Adamich?'
Mrs Adamich was pleased that Mrs Verbin had noticed the cabinet, but she answered, deprecatingly enough, 'It is just something I have been wanting for a long time. It cost a lot of money, but I said to myself, why not?'
'You were always one for a good home . . .'
'Well, tell me what is wrong with yours?'
'It could do with new carpets. Peter's wife says I should have them,' Mrs Verbin shrugged her shoulders, 'but I am getting too old to care!'
'Too old to care!' Mrs Adamich smiled. 'One is never too old. When you have the money, why not, I say.'
'There will be plenty to enjoy it after you, if you will not spend it now!' She shook a playful finger at Mrs Verbin who smiled faintly and remembered the last time she had been to the doctor and he had told her that she had a tired heart.
'I suppose you are right. Yes, I really think I will get them!'
The clock chimed. 'Goodness! Four o'clock already!' said Mrs Adamich, remembering her duties as hostess for the afternoon. 'Excuse me while I put the kettle on!'
'Now -- no trouble!'
'Trouble! What do you call trouble? It is such a pleasure to have you all here.'
The tea was made and brought out in the silver teapot and set on its stand by the cups and saucers and plates of cakes and sandwiches. The ladies sat around the table. Mrs Adamich poured from her place at the head. 'Now what can I pass you, ladies? Mrs Verbin, some cake . . . a sandwich . . . ?' Mrs Verbin took one of the littlest sandwiches. She must diet, she said. The last time she had seen him, the doctor said her blood pressure was too high.
'Mine, too!' said Mrs Sebato, happily eating her way through a second piece of cream sponge. 'But how can I diet when I enjoy eating?'
They drank tea and ate and talked. The four of them, sitting there as if they had never known any other life, so well dressed, so assured. Mrs Adamich, fair and handsome with her silvering hair. Mrs Verbin, dark and thin and faintly aristocratic. Mrs Malich, pale and slightly sad. Mrs Sebato, plump and rosy and remarkably young-looking for a woman of just on sixty. Mrs Adamich was happy. Everything was going beautifully. The picture of her husband on the wall seemed to look approvingly on the gathering, as if to say, 'We have done well.'
And then, unaccountably, the whole afternoon took a turn. It was Mrs Malich, the one with the least to say, who started it.
'My word! It wasn't like this when we first came to New Zealand!'
They looked at one another, startled into remembering. No. It had not been like this.
Mrs Verbin was the first to speak. 'I lived with my man in a shanty on the gumfields.'
'We went to a place called Tangi. Nothing but bush and swampland. No people.' Mrs Sebato looked as if she was going to cry now.
'Ah, my mother! And she lived all those years after I left, and died, and I never saw her again!' Mrs Adamich looked around at the rose cups, the new piano no one ever played, the mahogany cabinet that seemed unimportant now and the little music clock.
'When I was a little girl I used to think I could never leave her. She was a widow. My three older sisters were married in America . . .' She seemed to be talking to the room, not to the people in it. The clock began to play its tinkling tune. One, two, three . . . The little waltz tune beat rhythmically on the room. The quaint old-fashioned sound of it hushed them all to silence till Mrs Adamich spoke again. 'It reminded me of home!' she said suddenly. 'That's why I bought it!'
The other three looked up from their own memories. She went on. 'We had a picture of the Blessed Virgin, and when you wound the little box at the back it played the "Ave Maria". A pedlar from Bohemia came to our house one day. When he showed us the picture that played a holy song we begged our mother to buy it, and she did. It always stayed on the dresser in her bedroom and on special days we were allowed to play it, each in turn.' She sat with bent head listening -- not to the tinkling Lehar waltz, but to the 'Ave Maria' playing from its picture in Dalmatia.
'But if we had stayed there we would have been poor all our lives!' It was Mrs Verbin who broke in on what all were pondering. The four women looked around at the richly furnished room as if they were summing up a problem -- the loss and the gain. No one spoke. But it seemed to Mrs Adamich that she could smell the scent of the almond blossom on the tree outside her mother's house. It filled the room with its fragrance, and suddenly she wished that it wasn't the mahogany cabinet she was seeing, but the blue, blue Adriatic Sea
- Works By:
- "Ujdur, Simun Mijo 1881-1953; A memory of Simon Ujdur Snr ." New Zealand Memories Feb/Mar (2008): 28-35.
- "Dalmatian yesterdays in Dargaville." NZ Home Journal Mar (1964).
- "Gold in Waihi." New Zealand Womans Weekly July 10 (1989).
- "The last summer." New Zealand Memories 35; April (2002): 15-15.
- Non Fiction
- "No bells, no bell towers." Listener August 5 (1966). Voyager link
- A Better Life: the Diary of Ivana Ivanovich. Auckland: Scholastic New Zealand, 2003. Voyager link
- Never Lost for Words: stories and memories. Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2001. Voyager link
- "Words without end." New Zealand Film Commission, Wellington, Sunday Star Times March 25 (2001): F2.
- Short Story
- Pjevaj vilo u planini: roman. 1981.
- "Sarajevo! Sarajevo!." NZ Listener 197.3378; February 5 (2005): 40.
- "Saturday night at the Coconut Grove." New Zealand Memories 42; June/July (2003): 26-29.
- "Vineyard of the Lord." New Zealandia 21; Feb (1991): 24-25.
- Short Story Collection
- An Olive Tree in Dalmatia and Other Stories. Hamilton, Pauls Book Arcade 1963.
- Another Mountain Another Song. Auckland, Hodder and Stoughton 1981.
- Bharat, and Manohar: two stories. Wellington, School Publications Branch, Dept of Education 1964.
- Holy Terrors and Other Stories. Auckland, Vintage 1991.
- Maui Comes to Town. Wellington, School Publications Branch, Dept of Education 1963.
- Sing Vila in the Mountain. Auckland, Hodder and Stoughton 1987.
- The Olive and the Vine. Wellington, School Publications Branch, Dept of Education 1962.
- Works about:
- Haynes, Barry. "George Sellars continues and a passenger remembers." Northland Times January 4 (1996): 4-4.
- Haynes, Barry. "A writing career from underfashion to a novel." Northland Times May 8 (1997): 5-5.
- Haynes, Barry. "Amelia Batistich - from Dargaville to Auckland." Northland Times April 24 (1997): 4-4.
- Haynes, Barry. "Amelia Batistich: education at Convent School, Mangawhare." Northland Times April 17 (1997): 4-4.
- Haynes, Barry. "The Amelia Batistich story - school, work, marriage, TAB." Northland Times May 1 (1997): 4-4.
- Jones, Lawrence. "Barbed wire & mirrors : essays on New Zealand prose." University of Otago Press, Dunedin, 1987.
- Schwass, Margot. "Between two worlds : the migrant experience in New Zealand short stories." JNZL: Journal of New Zealand Literature 3; (1985): 71-86.
- Nola, Nina. "Migrant womens writing in New Zealand: Amelia Batistichs three-dimensional world." Hecate Special Aotearoa/New Zealand Issue 20.2; Oct (1994): 140-159.
- Tolerton, Jane. "Convent Girls." Penguin, Auckland, 1995.
- Nola, Nina. "The migrant body: fetishing difference/differentiating the fetish." Span 42/43; April (1996): 104-113.
- Du Chateau, Carroll. "Words flow from river to mountain." New Zealand Herald November 3 (2001): E3.
- Nola, Nina. "Pioneer from the north." Quote Unquote 17; Nov (1994): 14-16.
- Dove, Kathryn. "Amelia Batistich." New Zealand Memories 35; April (2002): 30-32.
- Motion Picture
- "The road back." New Zealand Film Commission, Wellington, 1997.
- Nola, Nina. "Milking the olive tree: the migrant writing of Amelia Batistich." University of Auckland, Auckland, 1994.