Blog Archives

Roads to nowhere? Ruth Butterworth

Building the Constitution ed Colin James Institute of Policy Studies, $45, ISBN 090893548X Some time in 1997, with the prolonged aftermath of the first MMP election still agitating the establishment and mightily diverting the rest of us, the idea gained

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Posted in Non-fiction, Politics & Law and Review

Live and let learn, Jim Collinge

Learning our Living: a teaching autobiography Charmaine Pountney Cape Catley, $29.95, ISBN 0908561865 For many people a teaching autobiography might not seem an exciting prospect. Charmaine Pountney, however, is no ordinary teacher. This book is an account of nearly 60

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Posted in Autobiography, Education, Non-fiction and Review

Margaret Atwood in New Zealand, Anne Else

Beginnings and Endings   Mostly I want to read what writers write, not look at r listen to them. But in the mid-1980s, I went to hear Margaret Atwood. Murder in the Dark had recently appeared, and she read “Happy

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Posted in Opinion

Poem — John Ridland

Spring, 1940 (Christchurch)   This morning Mary Ursula Bethell saw “Suddenly a weeping willow green, Beside the mechanic street.” Meantime Frank Thomas, Gear-changing effortlessly his fine machine, Motored over the “grey, stone-heavy bridge” To his garage – his garage –

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Posted in Poem

NZ domestic, Lois Daish

At Home in New Zealand: Houses History People  ed Barbara Brookes Bridget Williams Books, $49.95, ISBN 1877242047 Dave the dishwasher, who had recently moved to Wellington from a small town, was drying cutlery behind the counter of a café I

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review and Sociology

“No place for the flamboyant”, Stevan Eldred-Grigg

Southern Capital Christchurch: Towards a City Biography 1850-2000 ed John Cookson & Graeme Dunstall Canterbury University Press, $39.95, ISBN 0908812876 Christchurch Changing Geoffrey Rice Canterbury University Press, $29.95, ISBN 0908812531 Christchurch is my home city. My heart and my brain

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Posted in History, Non-fiction and Review

Turning the pages, Keith Maslen

A Book in the Hand: Essays on the History of the Book in New Zealand ed Penny Griffith, Peter Hughes and Alan Loney Auckland University Press, $39.95, ISBN 1869402316 These fifteen essays, based on papers given at the first New

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Posted in Essays, History, Literature, Non-fiction and Review

Not plain sailing, Anne French

Shapes on the Wind David Lewis HarperCollins, $29.95, ISBN 073226801X   In 1934, when I was seventeen, I celebrated my last days at boarding school by building a canoe/kayak and informing the headmaster that I was going home in it

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Posted in Autobiography, Non-fiction and Review

The two cultures, Ray Henwood

As a science undergraduate in the mid-1950s I was aware of C P Snow’s attempts to awaken people to the problem of the two cultures. Perhaps my growing interest and work in theatre had given me an edge over my

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Posted in Imprints

Rain Queen, Judith Fyfe

Salote, Queen of Paradise  Margaret Hixon Otago University Press, $49.95, ISBN 1877133787 The image of Queen Salote, in London for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in June 1953 – defiantly riding in an open coach in the pouring rain, and regally

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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Pacific and Review
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