If a nation could be said to have a dominant passion, New Zealand's would be its landscapes. Images of spectacular natural features pervade the media - between the pages of glossy coffee-table books, in tourism promotions and on screen as the setting for blockbuster movies - but are these scenes that define its people? For Beyond the Scene the editors asked eleven writers to choose a landscape that was important to them and to write it from the perspective of their life experience and knowledge. From farmer to art historian and film critic, geographer and planner to lawyer, from landscape architect to poet and environmentalist - these are diverse voices. Each discusses a very different landscape: from suburban Auckland and rural Waikato to a planned town in Canterbury and much-filmed Otago. Together, they investigate the relationship landscape has to identity, community and psyche.