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What are ya, mate? Hugh Roberts

Pacific Highways (GriffithREVIEW 43)
Julianne Schultz and Lloyd Jones (eds)
Griffith University, $35.00,
ISBN 9781922182241

Is New Zealand peculiarly burdened with the curse of national introspection? Even to pose the question is to succumb to that curse; or perhaps to reduce it to its hall-of-mirrors core: “the defining characteristic of the New Zealander is to be endlessly preoccupied with discovering the defining characteristic of the New Zealander.” Can we ever stop worrying about “who we are now” and just start being it? Well, not yet, if the latest edition of the GriffithREVIEW is anything to go by.

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Posted in Essays, Fiction, Literature, Non-fiction, Poetry, Review, Short stories and Sociology

Constant uncertainty, Dougal McNeill

Journals 1938-1945 Charles Brasch Margaret Scott (transcriber), Andrew Parsloe (annotator) Otago University Press, $60.00, ISBN 9781877372841 Enduring Legacy, the Hocken Library’s 2003 exhibition marking the release of Charles Brasch’s papers from their embargo, was subtitled “patron, poet and collector”. Brasch

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Posted in Essays, Non-fiction, Poetry and Review

Sourcing the golden goose, Hugh Roberts

Elements of Modernism in Colin McCahon’s Early Work Gordon H Brown Art History Programme, Victoria University of Wellington, $15.00, ISBN 9780475122032 Toss Woollaston: Origins and Influence  Tony Green Art History Programme, Victoria University of Wellington, $15.00, ISBN 9771176304001 Colin McCahon

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Posted in Art, Essays, Non-fiction and Review

No getting away from the man, Linda Burgess

Civilisation: Twenty Places on the Edge of the World  Steve Braunias Awa Press, $36.00, ISBN 9781877551352 Steve Braunias is one of our very best writers. How does he do it, wonders the reviewer, as within a sentence Braunias moves from

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Posted in Essays, Non-fiction and Review

Hot gospels and wowserism, Paul Morris

The Spirit of the Past: Essays on Christianity in New Zealand History  Geoffrey Troughton and Hugh Morrison (eds)  Victoria University Press, $50.00,  ISBN 9780864736543 Theology no longer forms part of a university education in the social sciences or humanities, where

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Posted in Essays, Non-fiction, Religion and Review

Gamelans and paldongs, Sue Court

World Music is Where We Found it: Essays by and for Allan Thomas Wendy Pond and Paul Wolffram (eds) Victoria University Press, $40.00, ISBN 9780864736949   World Music is Where We Found it is not a collection of essays in

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Posted in Essays, Music, Non-fiction and Review

Closing the spaces between, Filma Anne Punakitere Phillips

Words Between Us/ He Korero: First Maori-Pakeha Conversations on Paper Alison Jones and Kuni Jenkins Huia, $45.00, ISBN 9781869694784   Aotearoa/New Zealand as a place of encounter, a zone of contact and kanohi ki te kanohi. Face-to-face meetings during the

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Posted in Essays, History, Maori, Non-fiction and Review

Life in the bush, by the bay, Dougal McNeill

Speaking Frankly: The Frank Sargeson Memorial Lectures 2003-2010 Sarah Shieff (ed) Cape Catley, $31.99, ISBN 9781877340277   Celebrating Katherine Mansfield: A Centenary Volume of Essays Gerri Kimber and Janet Wilson (eds) Palgrave Macmillan, $162.00, ISBN 9780230277731   It was a

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Posted in Essays, Lecture, Literature, Non-fiction and Review

Snorts and foamings, Peter Russell

Q and Eh: Questions and Answers on Language with a Kiwi Twist Laurie Bauer, Dianne Bardsley, Janet Holmes and Paul Warren Random House, $39.99, ISBN 9781869793432   This book by four professional linguists at Victoria University aims to explain aspects

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Posted in Essays, Language and Non-fiction

Don’t we live in America? Rose Lovell-Smith

A Made-Up Place: New Zealand in Young Adult Fiction Anna Jackson, Geoff Miles, Harry Ricketts, Tatjana Schaefer and Kathryn Walls Victoria University Press, $40.00, ISBN 9780864736970   Chapter four of this collection of essays by five authors is called “Utopia”.

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Posted in Essays, Literature, Non-fiction, Review and Young adults
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