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Streets, waters, winds, Kirsty Gunn

A Strange Beautiful Excitement: Katherine Mansfield’s Wellington 1888 – 1903
Redmer Yska
Otago University Press, $40.00,
ISBN 9780947522544

“There is a handful of writers” begins Vincent O’Sullivan’s introduction to a rare and illuminating account of the city in which Katherine Mansfield was born and grew up,

who at times seem to hold their admirers almost as much by the enigma of personality, or the curious weave of their lives, as they do by their first and sustained impact as writers … Each time we go back to a favourite story … there is that teasing urge to know what came before

In a few elegant sentences we have outlined for us a literary study of riveting depth and focus that, in drawing together history, biography, lyrical essay and reportage gives us back, in deeper colours, the life and work of one of those whose story we continue to be drawn towards, who takes her place amongst the world’s key modernists, a leading practitioner of the short story form, and here, too, a young New Zealand girl.

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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction and Review

A bit of fluff, Anne Else

A Woman’s Place Redmer Yska Penguin Books, $20.00, ISBN 97840143568087 A Woman’s Place is a small book in every sense. Penguin’s web page classes it as both “humour” and “gift book”. Though it does have pages and a cover, it

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Posted in Gender, Non-fiction and Review

Never the whole truth, Spiro Zavos

Truth: The Rise and Fall of the People’s Paper Redmer Yska Craig Potton Publishing, $49.99, ISBN 9781877517303   During most of 1979 I lived with my family in Menton, in the south of France, trying to write the Great New

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Posted in History, Media, Non-fiction and Review

Can Auckland be saved? Redmer Yska

The Life and Times of Auckland  Gordon McLauchlan Penguin Books, $40.00, ISBN 9780143007500 Urban Village: The Story of Ponsonby, Freemans Bay and St Mary’s Bay  Jenny Carlyon and Diana Morrow Random House, $70.00, ISBN 9781869418373 New Local Government Minister Rodney

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Posted in History, Non-fiction and Review

Reds under the bed, Redmer Yska

The Sixth Man: The Extraordinary Life of Paddy Costello James McNeish  Vintage, $34.99, ISBN  9781869418915 James McNeish’s masterly life of Paddy Costello tells how, in the summer of 1953, this Paris-based New Zealand diplomat escorted National PM Sid Holland around

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

Absolutely commercially, Jenny Robin Jones

Logan Campbell’s Auckland: Tales from the Early Years R C J Stone Auckland University Press, $45.00,  ISBN 9781869403935 Wellington: Biography of a City Redmer Yska Reed, $44.99, ISBN 0790011077 Auckland illuminated through stories of the past; Wellington reconstructed through careful

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review and Sociology

Carry on conspiring, Redmer Yska

The Plot to Subvert Wartime New Zealand Hugh Price Victoria University Press, $29.95, ISBN 0864735383 One Sunday morning at the end of March 1942, a safe-breaker fresh out of Waikeria Prison rang Cabinet Minister Bob Semple at home from a phone

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review and War

Standing up for it, Redmer Yska

God Defend New Zealand: A History of the National Anthem Ashley Heenan School of Music and University of Canterbury, $29.95, ISBN 0908718098 Hear Our Voices We Entreat: The Extraordinary Story of New Zealand’s National Anthems Max Cryer Exisle Publishing, $29.99,

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

Running away to sea, Redmer Yska

Swirly World: the solo voyages Andrew Fagan HarperCollins, $29.95, ISBN 186590402X Wet Behind the Ears: adventures of a runaway sailor Peter Taylor HarperCollins, $24.95, ISBN 1869504003 With the sea breathing down their necks, New Zealanders are drawn more than most

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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction and Review

The grit and the grog, Gerry Evans

Crew Culture: New Zealand Seafarers under Sail and Steam Neil Atkinson Te Papa Press, $39.95, ISBN 0909010818 An Errand of Mercy: Captain Jacob Eckhoff and the loss of the Kakanui Redmer Yska Banshee Books, $29.95, ISBN 0473076993 “For more than

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Posted in History, Non-fiction and Review
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