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The decent society, John Pagani

The Bolger Years 1990-1997 Margaret Clark (ed)  Dunmore Publishing, $37.95,  ISBN 9781877399336 I have to confess to having taunted Margaret Clark in the past for her incuriosity. A few years ago she demanded in a newspaper answers and explanations from

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Politics & Law and Review

Movement is all, Paula Green

Magnetic South   Sue Wootton Steele Roberts, $24.99, ISBN 9781877448232 Spark   Emma Neale Steele Roberts, $24.99, ISBN 9781877448195 The Propaganda Poster Girl   Amy Brown Victoria University Press, $25.00, ISBN 9780864735744 The World’s Fastest Flower   Charlotte Simmonds Victoria

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Posted in Literature and Poetry

Poem — Nicholas Reid

Once to the Rocks   “Once to the rocks,” said Bill and took a dive as neat and arc-like as a well-cast line. He left no ripple. I blundered behind with belly-flop and splashes, awkwardly.   So in his element,

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Posted in Poem

Steadfast, Dougal McNeill

Collected Poems 1951-2006 C K Stead Auckland University Press, $59.99,  ISBN 9781869404185 The American critic Lionel Trilling, writing in the early 1960s of his experience teaching what we would now call modernist literature, felt unsettled by the ease with which

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Posted in Literature, Poetry and Review

A straight left to the nose, Spiro Zavos

From Poverty Bay to Broadway: The Story Of Tom Heeney Lydia Monin  Hodder Moa, $39.99, ISBN 9781869711252 You play rugby and a host of other sports that have a greater or lesser degree of body contact in them. But you

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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review and Sport

Where the boys are, Penelope Todd

Whale Pot Bay Des Hunt HarperCollins, $18.99, ISBN 978869507305 The River Runs David Hill Mallinson Rendel, $18.00,  ISBN 9781877423222 Violence 101 Denis Wright Penguin Books, $18.95, ISBN 9780143304036 These three books with male protagonists each cover, to varying extent, bullying,

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Posted in Children, Literature and Review

St Barbara might help, Les Cleveland

The Gunners: A History of New Zealand Artillery Alan Henderson, David Green and Peter Cooke Penguin Books, $65.00, ISBN 9780790011417 Specialists and artillery buffs will find much in this 528-page detailed treatment of weaponry, military organisation, administrative entanglements, the problems

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review and War

Sweet and upbeat, Paula Morris

The 10pm Question Kate De Goldi Longacre Press, $29.99, ISBN 978977460203 “Every family has a secret,” says Alan Bennett, “and the secret is that it’s not like other families.” For Frankie Parsons, the clever, neurotic hero of Kate De Goldi’s

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Posted in Literature, Review and Young adults

Age-old contracts, Elizabeth Caffin

A Year to Learn a Woman Paddy Richardson Penguin Books, $28.00, ISBN 9780143010029 Misconduct Bridget van der Zijpp Victoria University Press, $30.00,  ISBN 9780864735751 The Rehearsal Eleanor Catton  Victoria University Press, $30.00,  ISBN 9780864735812 A woman around 40, now on

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Posted in Fiction, Literature and Review

Letters — Issue 85

Marsh in production In his review of Joanne Drayton’s Ngaio Marsh: Her Life in Crime (NZB, Summer 2008), Murray Bramwell regrets the lack of anecdotes that would give some “sense of Marsh’s strategies and style as a director”. On my

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Posted in Letters
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