Blog Archives

Where’s Rewi? Mary Roberts 

White Ghosts, Yellow Peril: China and New Zealand 1790–1959
Stevan Eldred-Grigg with Zeng Dazheng
Otago University Press, $55.00,
ISBN 9781877578656

Stevan Eldred-Grigg and Zeng Dazheng have, in some respects, written the book that I’ve been waiting for. This is a thorough, readable and comprehensive survey of relations between China and New Zealand in the 19th and first half of the 20th century. It also provides a balanced and enlightening account of the growth of the “traditional” Chinese community in New Zealand: that is, the largely Cantonese community that New Zealanders of my generation (born in the 1950s) and older knew as the New Zealand Chinese. The New Zealand Chinese community is now made up of people whose origins are from all over the Sinophone world, but for many decades its members were largely from three small areas of Guangdong (Canton) province.

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Posted in History, Non-fiction and Sociology

The resilience of children, Ann Beaglehole

Frederick’s Coat Alan Duff Vintage, $38.00, ISBN 9781869415662 Bangs Stevan Eldred-Grigg Penguin, $30.00, ISBN 9780143568063 Waiting for Elizabeth Joan Rosier-Jones Tangerine Publications, $30.00, ISBN 9780987664617 Alan Duff is one of our most esteemed writers. His best-known novel Once Were Warriors

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Posted in Fiction, Literature and Review

Minding the gap, Tom Brooking

People, People, People: A Brief History of New Zealand Stevan Eldred-Grigg David Bateman, $24.95, ISBN 9781869538132 In 1980 Stevan Eldred-Grigg wrote a provocative study of the great estate owners of the South Island which proved beyond any semblance of doubt

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Posted in History, Non-fiction and Review

Myth and memory, Edmund Bohan

Shattered Glory: The New Zealand Experience at Gallipoli and the Western Front Matthew Wright Penguin Books, $45.00, ISBN 9780143020561   The Great Wrong War: New Zealand Society in WWI  Stevan Eldred-Grigg Random House, $55.00, ISBN 9781869792633   In 2007 the

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review and War

Drawing-room stories, Stevan Eldred-Grigg

Old South: Life and Times in the Nineteenth-century Mainland Matthew Wright Penguin Books, $50.00, ISBN 9780143006510 Old South is a work that should be a welcome newcomer to the growing list of leading titles in New Zealand history. The book

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Posted in History, Non-fiction and Review

Bright fine gold, Peter Calder

Diggers, Hatters and Whores: The Story of the New Zealand Gold Rushes Stevan Eldred-Grigg Random House, $55.00, ISBN 9781869419257 In the closing pages of this comprehensive, even magisterial, historical survey, the author quotes the observation by Joan Stevens in The

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Posted in History, Non-fiction and Review

A less than perky light, Stevan Eldred-Grigg

Gith Chris Else Random House, $27.99, ISBN 9781869790134 Show of Hands Anthony McCarten Random House, $29.99, ISBN 9781869419950 Swimmer’s Rope  Stephanie Johnson Random House, $29.99, ISBN 9781869790257 At the first look there’s not much to tie these three novels together.

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Counterpunching King, Stevan Eldred-Grigg

No Left Turn: The Distortion of New Zealand’s History by Greed, Bigotry and Right Wing Politics Chris Trotter Random House, $36.99, ISBN 9781869418090 This book is a riposte, a counterpunch in a sparring match between spokesmen for two ideologies. It’s

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Ripping yarns, Stevan Eldred-Grigg

Fatal Frontiers: A New History of New Zealand in the Decade Before the Treaty Paul Moon Penguin Books, $39.95, ISBN 0143020595 “New Zealand was undergoing an identity crisis in the 1830s,” writes Paul Moon on the first page of his

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Posted in History, Maori, Non-fiction and Review

Various elsewheres, Michael Hulse

Degrees of Separation Laurence Fearnley Penguin, $28.00, ISBN 0143020579 Relative Strangers Emma Neale Vintage, $27.99, ISBN 1869417828 Work in Progress Paul Thomas Black Swan, $27.99, ISBN 1869418255 Shanghai Boy Stevan Eldred-Grigg Vintage, $27.99, ISBN 1869417933   If I didn’t know

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Posted in Fiction, Literature and Review
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