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Letters — Issue 102

A radical thought Here’s a radical thought for Chris Else (NZB, Autumn 2013). Perhaps a book reviewer might endeavour to say a couple of pertinent things about the book under review. If that book happens to be a major new

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Letters — Issue 101

Congratulations The novelist, Alex Miller, who lives in Melbourne (the city where I mostly reside), said that “writing fiction is a dangerous occupation. It is an act of imagination that requires the writer to confront unclear aspects of the self;

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Letters — Issue 100

It’s a polemic Your reviewer Louise O’Brien (NZB, Spring 2012) criticises me for not offering solutions “to the many problems which [The Passionless People Revisited] lays out so emphatically”. Oh dear. It is a polemic, a legitimate form of disputation

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Letters — Issue 99

The darker side of mania In his recent review of my memoir Taming the Tiger (NZB, Winter 2012) David Cohen pays me several nice compliments. Yet, on the whole, the review is written with an asininely superior style typical of

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Letters — Issue 97

New Zealand Books is now accessible to blind and partially sighted readers. Our 20th anniversary issue (Summer 2011) was the first to be made available to 2,900 sight-impaired magazine borrowers through the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind. It is also

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Letters — Issue 96

Not a bar of it The cover of the Spring 2011 issue of NZB announces that “Elspeth Sandys keeps time with Quigley’s The Conductor”, but her disappointingly thin review falls short of doing justice to this complex and satisfying novel. 

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Letters — Issue 94

Talking heads How refreshing that for Nelson Wattie (NZB Autumn 2011) the time has clearly come to no longer “go with the flow” – in this case, the incessant flow of information from writers talking about (their) writing and thereby

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Letters — Issue 93

Mulgan and malaria-induced depression In relation to Martin Edmond’s review of the new edition of John Mulgan’s Report on Experience (NZB, Summer 2010), one might suggest that the causes for Mulgan’s suicide in Cairo on 25 April 1945 could have

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Letters — Issue 92

Arts and evolution In NZB (Winter 2010), Chris Else claims in regard to Denis Dutton’s The Art Instinct and Brian Boyd’s On the Origin of Stories, that “an evolutionary explanation of art, seductive though it might be to the reductive

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Letters — Issue 91

What’s in a name? John O’Leary in his review of Dominic Alessio’s edition of The Great Romance by “The Inhabitant” (NZB Autumn 2010) comments “we do not know who wrote it”. But the National Library’s wonderful searchable site of New

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