Blog Archives

Short stories as selfless, Christine Johnston

The Red Queen
Gemma Bowker-Wright
Victoria University Press, $30.00,
ISBN 9780864739209

Empty Bones and Other Stories
Breton Dukes
Victoria University Press, $30.00,
ISBN 9780864739186

The Red Queen and Empty Bones, two short story collections by new writers, while having much in common, offer individual visions of the contemporary world. The Red Queen is Gemma Bowker-Wright’s first book, and the latter publication is Breton Dukes’s second. (Bird North appeared in 2011 to some acclaim.) These authors certainly aren’t novices.

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Ducking for cover, Christine Johnston

The Elusive Language of Ducks Judith White Random House, $38.00, ISBN 9781775532798 Judith White’s themes are the big ones – old-age, decline and death; sex, love and the betrayal of love. Her characters have an inner life but they also

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Nothing sacred, Christine Johnston

Risk  C K Stead MacLehose Press, $30.00, ISBN 9780857052230 C K Stead is a towering figure in New Zealand writing – a distinguished novelist, literary critic, poet, essayist and emeritus professor of English of the University of Auckland. He has

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They wrote it

Call me Hairy Past back-page contest entrants showcase their talent.     Wince-making dedication To my late wife without whose unfailing stimulus and example this novel of infidelity and retribution could never have been written. Christine Johnston     Haiku

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Posted in Comment

Putting yourself on the line, Christine Johnson

The Commonplace Book: A Writer’s Journey Through Quotations Elizabeth Smither Auckland University Press, $34.99, ISBN 9781869404765 How the Land Lies: Of Longing and Belonging Pat White Victoria University Press, $35.00, ISBN 9780864736383 “[A] memoir is how one remembers one’s own

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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction and Review

Love and war, Christine Johnston

Ned and Katina: A True Love Story Patricia Grace Penguin Books, $40.00, ISBN 9780143007401 Who could resist a love story set on Crete in 1945? Obviously Patricia Grace couldn’t. The celebrated author was approached by Ned’s and Katina’s family with

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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction and Review

Waiting for sunshine Christine Johnston

Singularity Charlotte Grimshaw Vintage, $32.99, ISBN 9781869791384 Relief Anna Taylor Victoria University Press, $30.00, ISBN 9780864735874 These new publications by young female authors appear at first glance to have quite a lot in common. Take the single-word abstract-noun titles. Take

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Posted in Literature, Review and Short stories

Obituary — Dianne Ruth Pettis

Dianne Ruth Pettis  (1955-2008) Dianne Ruth Pettis was a fiction writer and poet, who published under the name Ruth Pettis. She was born in Waipawa in Hawke’s Bay and worked as a journalist, a script writer for the Natural History

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Posted in Obituaries

Snapshots, Christine Johnston

The Best New Zealand Fiction Volume 4 Fiona Farrell (ed),  Vintage, $34.99, ISBN 9781869418779 The Girl Who Proposed: New Short Stories Elizabeth Smither Cape Catley, $29.99, ISBN 9781877340130 Here and There, Now and Then Isa Moynihan Earl of Seacliff Art

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On a wing and a prayer, Christine Johnston

How to Watch a Bird  Steve Braunias Awa Press, $24.99, ISBN 9780958262965 Steve Braunias is preaching to the converted in the case of this reviewer, who lives within cooee of native bush and shallow water. I can admire white-faced herons

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Posted in Natural History, Non-fiction and Review
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