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Editorial — Issue 53

“Impersonal sympathy” The Times Literary Supplement recently celebrated its centenary, and used the occasion to print two substantial essays – one by Ferdinand Mount, its current editor, the other by Stefan Collini – on its history, editorial policy, style, and

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Stirring lilacs, Norman Bilbrough

The Secret History of Modernism C K Stead Harvill Press, $29.95, ISBN 1864069418 Usually I find it a pleasure to read my way into  C K Stead’s particular world; to encounter the consciousness beneath – and attached to – the narrative.

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Posted in Fiction, Literature and Review

High-flying hubris, Terry Hall

Battle of the Titans: Sir Ronald Trotter, Hugh Fletcher and the Rise and Fall of Fletcher Challenge Bruce Wallace Penguin, $34.95, ISBN 014100472X Bruce Wallace was in an excellent position to write a book that exhaustively chronicles the history of

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Posted in Biography, History, Non-fiction and Review

Argument without end, Michael King

The Shaping of History: Essays from The New Zealand Journal of History ed Judith Binney Bridget Williams Books, $49.95, ISBN 1877242179 Histories, Power and Loss: Uses of the Past – a New Zealand Commentary ed Andrew Sharp and Paul McHugh

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review and Sociology

The Truth Problem, Anne French

An Autobiography Lauris Edmond Bridget Williams Books, $49.95, ISBN 18772421225 Lauris Edmond: Selected Poems 1975-2000 ed K O Arvidson Bridget Williams Books, $39.95, ISBN 1877242152 There’s only one issue to be resolved with autobiography, and that is the Truth Problem.

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Posted in Autobiography, Literature, Non-fiction, Poetry and Review

Moments of invention, Bill Sewell

The Stepmother Tree James McNaughton Darius Press, $14.95, ISBN 0473078244 I don’t think there is such a thing as a “stepmother tree”.  My Shorter Oxford hasn’t heard of it anyway. But if a stepmother tree has never existed, then perhaps

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Posted in Literature, Poetry and Review

A model egotist, Nicholas Reid

A Deserter’s Adventures – the Autobiography of Dom Felice Vaggioli Translated from the Italian by John Crockett Otago University Press, $49.95, ISBN 1877276111 Since the first English-language publication of Dom Felice Vaggioli’s New Zealand and its Inhabitants in 2000, the

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Posted in Autobiography, History, Non-fiction and Review

Both sides now, Peter Wells

The World Regained Dennis McEldowney Auckland University Press, $34.95, ISBN 1869402537 From the Wisteria Bush Vanya Lowry Auckland University Press, $39.95, ISBN 1869402561 The nature of memoir is an act of resurrection, exploration, delineation. It is both a wreath placed

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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction and Review

Like great sex only better, Robert Burgess

Gladiator: The Norm Hewitt Story Michael Laws Darius Press, $29.95, ISBN 0473078252 Loyal: The Todd Blackadder Story  Phil Gifford Hodder Moa Beckett, $44.95, ISBN 1869588924 Head tilted back, eye-balling you. Norm on the front cover, bold and proud. And so

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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review and Sport

Poem — Rae Varcoe

When considering euthanasia   First, you should own a wise physician friend, a young one, the kind who could find a needle in a brainstorm. If not, rent one. If you wish, consult a minister or priest. (For myself, I

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