The longings of the placid, Mary McCallum

Mary McCallum recalls the pleasures of The Wind in the Willows and traces its influence on her first children’s book The Mole had been working very hard all the morning, spring-cleaning his little home. First with brooms, then with dusters; then on ladders and steps and chairs, with a brush and … Continue reading

Slow, sure meaning, Hamish Clayton

Hamish Clayton reflects on The English Patient. “The first time she dreamed of him she woke up beside her husband screaming.” When I was 21, I wrote that line out dozens of times, by hand, into a battered school exercise book. I was convinced that it was the best opening line I’d ever … Continue reading


  Non-fiction Diplomatic Ladies: New Zealand’s Unsung Envoys, Joanna Woods, Otago University Press, $50.00, ISBN 9781877578304 Using private letters and interviews, the author of Katerina: The Russian World of Katherine Mansfield (2001) writes about the wives and daughters who have … Continue reading

Hums, James Brown

James Brown looks back at A A Milne’s classic books for children. The World of Pooh is my all-time favourite formative book. This is a collection containing A A Milne’s two Pooh books – Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner – though it’s also two books in another sense. There are … Continue reading