Blog Archives

Her body falls and falls, Vivienne Jepsen

A Red Silk Sea Gillian Ranstead Penguin, $28.00, ISBN 0143019716 The Linoleum Room Katy Robinson Vintage, $26.95, ISBN 186941697X Her Body Rises: Stories & Poems Tracey Slaughter Vintage, $27.95, ISBN 1869417267 Ranstead’s, Robinson’s and Slaughter’s are all first books by

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Posted in Fiction, Literature and Review

Carnage on the coast, Paul Millar

Nine New Zealand Novellas  ed Peter Simpson Reed, $39.95, ISBN 0790009927 I’m not going to begin with a long, theorised discussion if the novella; there’s plenty of that around, and Peter Simpson’s introduction explores some of the key issues surrounding

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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review and Short stories

Going live to death, Michael Hulse

Lifted Bill Manhire Victoria University Press, $24.95, ISBN 086473509X Bill Manhire’s marvellous new collection of poems opens, as Creation reportedly did, in an amorphous state, awaiting the shaping of the Author. “Without Form”, taking its title from Genesis 1.2, declares:

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Posted in Literature, Poetry and Review

No Hamlet, Barry Gustafson

My Life David Lange Viking, $49.95, ISBN 067004556X David Lange was no Will Shakespeare, and his memoir My Life is no Hamlet, Othello or Macbeth. Lange’s prose is distinguished by clever one-liners, not lengthy, self-revealing soliloquies. My Life does, however,

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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction and Review

Calls for re-enchantment, Paul Morris

Celebrating the Southern Seasons: Rituals for Aotearoa Juliet Batten Random House, $34.95, ISBN 1869417348 Tohunga: The Revival of Ancient Knowledge for the Modern Era Samuel Timoti Robinson Reed, $49.99, ISBN 079001002X The election is finally over and we have a

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Posted in Maori, Non-fiction, Religion, Review and Sociology

Self-help or help yourself, Alice Te Punga Somerville & Tony Simpson

Pakeha and the Treaty: Why It’s Our Treaty Too Patrick Snedden Random House, $27.95, ISBN 186941683X I read Snedden’s Pakeha and the Treaty while diligently chomping my way through two books from a distinctly different genre: No More Clutter! and

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

Not in Guatemala now, Linda Burgess

Ourselves in Primetime: A History of New Zealand Television Drama Trish Dunleavy Auckland University Press, $49.99, ISBN 1869403398 If Ourselves in Primetime were television, rather than a book about television, it would be tucked away on TV1 at 11.30pm. Or

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Posted in History, Media, Non-fiction, Review and Sociology

Erratic humanity, Roger Blackley

Nerli: An Italian Painter in the South Pacific Michael Dunn Auckland University Press, $79.99, ISBN I869403355 According to the traditional mythology of New Zealand art, the annus mirabilis of 1890 heralds the arrival of professionalism and modernism in the figures

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Posted in Art, Non-fiction, Pacific and Review

Slow readers, Tim Hazledine

Economist and member of the 2000 Heart of the Nation Taskforce on the Arts Tim Hazledine asks if we’re feeding public money to the wrong end of the literary food chain.  The New York Times once ran a competition for

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Posted in Comment

Christmas list

  New Zealand Books reviewers choose which book they’d most like to see in their Christmas stocking and why. Owen Marshall: The Journals of John Cheever, unfortunately out of print; a wonderfully candid and elegant insight into the life of

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Posted in Imprints and Opinion
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