Editorial – Issue 26

Forward — and back

Next issue we welcome back Fiona Kidman. Her new novel, Ricochet Baby, gives us the opportunity to make a retrospective assessment of her work. We expect that will be a centrepiece of our March number. Meantime, our reviewer says a first glance suggests a different direction.

As we were going to press we received Barbara Anderson’s new novel, Proud Garments. Look out for that in March.

Also in that issue Sir Geoffrey Palmer will be back, to review books on the troubled accident compensation scheme. As a young man in the 1960s Sir Geoffrey advised the royal commission which proposed the scheme. Ian Thynne will assess ministerial and public service accountability over the Cave Creek disaster. David Pearson will look at the controversial topic of Asian immigration in a review of several books.

Religious writing gets a look in with a review by Paul Morris of Judith Batten’s Celebrations for Southern Seasons: Rituals for Aotearoa. Missionaries, nuns and Catholic boys bring back Nicholas Reid, who will also assess a new range of books on New Zealand film for the June issue, when we can track them down. Alison Gray will scan writing on women’s lives.

Howard Warner will review a clutch of thrillers, a genre gaining ground in New Zealand writing. This issue Paul Thomas’s latest is assessed. And Aorewa McLeod will examine an exciting novel by Sia Figiel, new both in the sense of a first novel but also as representative of an emerging genre — the Pacific island novel. Lydia Wevers will examine literary journals, from Sport to JAAM.

And Paul White will taste our wine writing. Does it have a good nose? Or should we trust our judgement?

In the warehouse

Ricochet Baby illustrates one of our quandaries as a reviewer in depth. We received the review copy close to our deadline. We might have rushed a review into print and we would have been confident of a review of quality. But we look to go further than simply review the book — and that takes time and care; moreover, the reviewers we look to are usually also very busy people and must fit their reviewing into difficult schedules.

That is one reason we build up a backlog of books. Usually that results in a delay of only one issue. Sometimes, however, the delay is longer.

In some cases, that is because some reviewers take their time and promised reviews may take several issues, even up to a year, to materialise. In some cases the delay is because we have not been able to identify a suitable reviewer. To our great discredit most of the Maori books fall into this category. We will make strenuous efforts to put this right next year.

In other cases we want to consider a book simultaneously with companion volumes (as with Patrick Day’s The Radio Years, for example) or with other books on the same topic. This is so with books that are not strictly in our territory as a serious review journal but which we think merit examination as a class of book: gardening (see Alistair Fox’s review on p19), self-help, management guides are examples.

We also collect large numbers of children’s books. Occasionally, as with The Bantam and the Soldiers in our August issue, we will deal with a children’s book on its merit as a fine piece of work. Otherwise we will select out some of the best for review (see p7) or, as we will do next issue, assess the standard of writing for children of the past two years, covering many books.

We have no fixed exclusionary criteria. We are always on the lookout for a book which will give us the opportunity to run something distinctively different: as, for example, our review by children of Dexter and Friends on p14.

But there are books we are for a variety of reasons unlikely to review. Among them are some important books, for example, Te Hikoi Maarama — a directory of Maori information resources. Likewise, we are unlikely to review reprints unless they have been very substantially revised or they can form part of a retrospective of an author’s work or they fit into a group with first-run books. In our list are some important works: Jock Phillips’ A Man’s Country should be on everyone’s bookshelf; so should Patricia Grace’s novels; and the Bridget Williams Books’ reprints listed below are all important contributions to our bibliography.

Below we list the books we have received but not reviewed or assigned yet. In future we intend to print a list of the books received since the previous issue but not yet assigned.

How to write 

Dorothea Brande, Becoming a Writer, MacMillan

Barry Turner, The Writer’s Companion, MacMillan

The arts 

Peter and Dianne Beatson, The Arts in Aotearoa/New Zealand, Massey University

John McDermott, Auckland — Our City, Tandem


Joy Tonks, Bravo! The NZSO at 50, Exisle

The Music of Scotland, Waikato University

ed John Thornley, Music in the Air — Song and Spirituality, Songpoetry

Mervyn McLean, Maori Music, Auckland University Press


ed Alistair Paterson, Poetry NZ (featuring Alan Riach), Brick Row

ed Bridget Musters and Jillian Sullivan, Ten, Nelson Writers Group (40 Nile St Nelson contact Rachel Bush)

Apapera Hineira Kaa, nga kokako huataratara — the plumes of the kokako, Waiata Koa 1995

Andrew Johnston, The Sounds, Victoria University Press

Ed Alan Loney, A Brief Description of the Whole World Nos 1 and 2

Alan Loney and Mark Wills, Envoy, Puriri Press

Collected writing

Warwick Roger, The Other Side, Cape Catley

John Clarke, A Dagg at my Table: Writings 1977-1996, Hodder Moa Beckett

Ranginui Walker, Nga Pepa a Ranginui/The Walker Papers, Penguin


Geoff Palmer, Telling Stories, Secker and Warburg

J H MacDonald, The Free World, Victoria University Press

Dominic Sheehan, Finding Home, Reed

John Elder, The hidden mask, Octant Press

Sam Fisher, Laura, Pedro, Te Tiriti and I, Ethos Press

Liz Falkner, Dr Beale’s Wednesday, Random

Sue Reidy, The Visitation, Black Swan/Transworld Publishers

Barbara Anderson, Proud Garments, Victoria University Press

Maori fiction 

Witi Ihimaera, Te Ao Maarama — Contemporary Maori Writing, Vol 5, Reed

ed Huia publishers, Ngaa Pakiwaitara a Huia (Maori short stories), Huia publishers

ed Trixie Te Arama Menzies, He Wai: a song.— First Nation’s Women’s Writing, Waiata Koa

Arapera Hineira Kaa, Nga Kokako Huataratara, Waiata Koa

Wiremu Kaa, Nga Korero a Rewiti Kohere, Victoria University Press

Anaru Reedu, Nga Korero a Mohi Ruatapu, Canterbury University Press

Te Ohorere and Wiremu Kaa, Apirana Turupa Ngata Ana Tuhinga i roto i te reo Maori, Victoria University Press

Te Ohorere and Wiremu Kaa, Mohi Turei. Ana Tuhinga i roto i te reo Maori, Victoria University Press

Huia Short Stories 1995, Huia Publishers

Judy Corbalis, Tapu, Sinclair-Stevenson

Pacific Islands fiction

ed Albert Wendt, Nuanua — Pacific Island writing in English since 1980, Auckland University Press

Tupou Posesi Fanua and Lois W Webster, Malo Tupou: an Oral History, Pasifika Press


Lorae Parry, Eugenia, Victoria  University Press

J Broughton, M Forster, S O’Connor, Renee, F Farrell, Playlunch, Otago University Press

Young adult fiction 

David Hill, Curtain up, Heinemann Reed

Fleur Beale, Fifteen and Screaming, Tui (Harper Collins)

Pat Quinn, Sounds crazy, Reed

Gaelyn Gordon, River Song, Tui (Harper Collins)

Marie Gibson, Butterflies in the Dark, HarperCollins

Janice Marriott, Hope’s rainbow, Penguin

David Hill, Cold Comfort, Mallinson Rendal

Julie Williamson , A Summer to Remember, Tui (Harper Collins)

Christine Johnston, A Friend of Jack McGuire, Tui (Harper Collins)

William Taylor, Circles, Penguin

Ken Katran, Dream Bite, Penguin

Sherryl Jordon, Secret Sacrament, Penguin

Vivienne Joseph, Worlds Apart, Mallinson Rendal

Jane Westaway, Reliable Friendly Girls, Longacre

Maori writing for children

Hepora Young ill. Kerry Gemmill, Hinemoa and Tuutaanekai — a te Arawa legend, Huia publishers

Hepora Young ill. Kerry Gemmill, A Hinemoa raaua ko Tuutaanekai — he koorerohanga anoo o teetahi o ngaa pakiwaitara rongonui o Te Arawa, Huia publishers

Esther Tamehana ill. James Molnar, Roimata’s Cloak, Huia publishers

Esther Tamehana ill. James Molnar, He Kahurere, Huia publishers

Witi Ihimaera, te Kaieke Tohoraa, Reed

Brian Birchall, Kahu Te Kiwi Tupato, Golden Press

Jack Lasenby, Tiare Te Kea Whakatara, Golden Press

Brian Birchall, Hemi Te Poaka Kapene Kuki, Golden Press

Jack Lasenby, Rewi Te Tia Whero, Golden Press

Julia Graham, Opo Te Aihe Harikoa, Golden Press

Robyn Kahukiwa, KehuaThere’s something scary in the hall. Is it a ghost?, Penguin


Peter J Lineham, Bible and society. a sesquicentennial history of the Bible Society in New Zealand, The Bible Society of NZ/Daphne Brasell associates press

Jocelyn C Murray, Windows on Widowhood, Highland Books

Kimberley Paterson, The Future Seekers Way and Means to see into your future, Penguin


Ian Dougherty, Arawata Bill, The story of legendary gold prospector William James O’Leary, Exisle

Sigrid Crump, Bushwoman, Reed

Christine Leov-Lealand, Barry Brickell — A head of steam, Exisle

R C J Stone, Dilworth, Dilworth Trust Board

Margaret Lovell-Smith, Plain Living High Thinking — the family story of Jennie and Will Lovell Smith, Pedmore Press

Alex Frame, Salmond — Southern Jurist, Victoria University Press

Bradford Haami, Dr Golan Maaka — Maori Doctor, Tandem

Grant Shanks, We just want our daughter to live, Penguin

Lynley Hood, Minnie Dean, Penguin

Elizabeth Harding, You are a Brave Man: A Kiwi Odyssey in the Himalayas, Random

Rebecca Swan, The Big C: My Experience with Cancer, Hodder Moa Beckett

Wira  Gardiner, Return to Sender, Reed

Politics and policy 

Electoral Commission, Everything you needed to know about MMP

Foreign Affairs

Sir Frank Holmes, The Trans-Tasman Relationship, Institute of Policy Studies

Sir Frank Holmes, Terence O’Brien, New Zealand and ASEAN: The Strategic and Economic Outlook, Institute of Policy Studies

Raj Vasil, New Zealand and ASEAN: A Critical View of the Relationship, Institute of Policy Studies


Dave Leitch, Steam, Steel and Splendour, HarperCollins

Tony Hurst, Farewell to Steam — Four decades of change on New Zealand railways, HarperCollins

ed Frances Porter and Charlotte Macdonald, “My Hand Will Write What My Heart Dictates”. The unsettled lives of women in nineteenth-century New Zealand as revealed to sisters, family and friends, Auckland University Press/Bridget Williams Books

Patrick Day, The Radio Years: New Zealand Broadcasting, Auckland University Press

Richard S Hill, The Iron Hand in the Velvet Glove — the history of policing in New Zealand, Vol 3, 1886-1917, Dunmore

Roberta Nicholls, The Women’s Parliament, Victoria University Press

Dorothy Page, The National Council of Women: A Centennial History, Auckland University Press

Maori Resources 

Compiled by Chris Szekely, Te Hikoi Maarama — a directory of Maori information resources, Bridget Williams Books

Maori history

Bill Dacker, Te Maemae me te Aroha/The Pain and the Love, Otago University Press

Pei Te Hurinui Jones and Bruce Biggs, Nga Iwi o Tainui, Auckland University Press


Lawrence Watt, Mates and Mayhem. World War II: Frontline Kiwis Remember, HarperCollins

Harry Bioletti, The Yanks are Coming, Random House

Social policy

Richard A Epstein, The Role of the State in Education, Business Roundtable

Adrienne Von Tunzelmann with David Cullwick, Social Responsibility and the Company: A New Perspective on Governance, Strategy and the Community, Institute of Policy Studies

Derek A Dow, Safeguarding the public health — a history of the NZ department of health, Victoria University Press

Jim Sprott, The Cot Death Cover-up?, Penguin

Marilyn Waring, Three Masquerades: Essays on Equality, Work and Human Rights, Auckland University Press/Bridget Williams Books


Gill Gatfield, Without Prejudice: Women in the Law, Brookers

Auckland gay and lesbian lawyers group, Out Law — a legal guide for lesbians and gays in New Zealand

Maori society

Margaret Orbell, The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Maori Myth and Legend, Canterbury University Press

Hirini Moko Mead, Taawhaki. The Deeds of a demigod, Reed

Hirini Moko Mead, Taawhaki Nui A Hema, Reed

Maori Language Commission, Te Matatiki. Contemporary Maori Words, Otago University Press

Joan Metge, New Growth From Old. The whanau in the modern world, Victoria University Press


Adrienne Rewi and Euan Sarginson, Architects at Home — 30 New Zealand architects and their houses, Shoal Bay

Jeremy Ashford, The Bungalow in New Zealand, Viking

David Kernohan, Wellington’s Old Buildings, Victoria University Press

drawing by Lewis E Martin, Buildings to enjoy, Dunmore


Alex Veysey, Gary Caffell and Ron Palenski, Lochore: An Authorised Biography, Hodder Moa Beckett

Bob Howitt, Midfield Liaison The Frank Bunce, Walter Little Story, Rugby Publishing

Grant Doulton Glen Sowry, Endeavour. Winning the Whitbread, Hodder and Stoughton

Penny Whiting, Sailing with Penny Whiting: A step-by-step guide to the basics of sailing, Penguin

New Zealand 

Sam Hunt/Gary McCormick, photos John McDermott, Roaring Forties, Hodder Moa Beckett

John King, On the Road — a journey down state highway 1, HarperCollins

Photos David Kerr, text Kirsten Warner, Islands of the Gulf, Hodder Moa Beckett

Photos Holger Leue, text Witi Ihimaera, Faces of the Land, Reed

Ted Reynolds, My Side of the River — Tales from a Marlborough Vineyard, Godwit

John King, Wings Over New Zealand: A Pictorial Chronicle of New Zealand Aviation, Saint Publishing

Philip Holden, Station Country: Returning to the New Zealand back country., Hodder Moa Beckett

Peter Lynch, The New Zealand Home Exchange and Rental Directory 1997, Lynch

Ed Ralph Talmont, New Zealand the Ultimate Experience, David Bateman

NZ Adventure Council, New Zealand — The Adventure Playground, Saint Publishing

John Dawson and Rob Lucas, New Zealand Coast and Mountain Plants. Their Communties and Lifestyles, Victoria University Press

Mary Jane Boland, Good Weekend Guide: Out of Auckland, Penguin

Environment and natural history

Kennedy Warne, New Zealand Geographic, Bateman

Peter Hayden photos Rod Morris, Wild South’s Living Treasures of New Zealand, Harper Collins

Nic Bishop, New Zealand Wild — the greenest place on earth, Reed

Geoff Moon, Auckland Birds and Wildlife — where to go and what to see, Reed

Philip Temple, The Book of the Kea, Hodder Moa Beckett

Penguin Pocket Guide, New Zealand’s Native Birds of Bush and Countryside, Penguin

Michael Roche, Land and Water — water and soil conservation and central government in New Zealand, Historical branch, Department of Internal Affairs

R G McLaren, K C Cameron, Soil Science — sustainable production and environmental protection, Oxford University Press

Andrew Crowe, Which Native Forest Plant?, Viking

Andrew Crowe, Which Native Fern?, Viking

Owen and Audrey Bishop, New Zealand Wild Flowers Handbook, Hodder and Stoughton

Susan Firth, Martyn Firth, Elizabeth Ferth, Ferns of New Zealand, Hodder and Stoughton

Bruce Houghton, Vince Neall and David Johnston, Eruption: Mount Ruapehu Awakes, Viking


Kevin L Jones, Nga Tohuwhenua Mai Te Rangi — a New Zealand archaeology in aerial photographs, Victoria University Press

ed Douglas Sutton, Origins of the First New Zealanders, Auckland University Press

Health and living

Dr Nora Duffield, Talking to Kids about trouble.  A book for adults and children, Random House

June Thornton, Aromatherapy for New Zealanders, Viking

Lynda Wharton, Be Well Naturally. A New Zealand women’s guide for healthy living, Tandem

Annemarie Jutel, The New Zealand Woman’s Guide to Running, Longacre Press

Angela McCarthy and Margie Thomson, Anorexia and Bulimia. The Hungry Heart, Hodder Moa Becket

Bob Feigel and Malcolm Walker, The Senior Citizens’ Survival Guide: Beyond the New Millennium, Saint Publishing


Gail Ratcliffe, Take control of your life, Simon and Schuster

Lloyd Lalande, What do I really want, Harper Collins

ed Douglas Paton and Nigel Long, Psychological aspects of disasters, Dunmore Press

Kathy Macdonald, Ian Lambie, Les Simmonds, Counselling for sexual abuse — a therapist’s guide to working with adults, children, and families, Oxford University Press

Rhonda Pritchard, Love in the Real World, Penguin

Gwendoline Smith, Sharing the Load. What to do when someone you love is depressed, Random House

B Maley, B Berger, P Morgan L Sullivan A Tapper, Home Repairs: Building Stronger Families to Resist Social Decay, Centre for Independent Studies

Carroll du Chateau, Raising Other People’s Kids, Tandem

Money and work

Martin Hawes, Property investment in New Zealand. A Strategy for Wealth, Shoal Bay

Ed Vos, Personal Financial Planning for New Zealanders, Dunmore

Martin Hawes, Taxation: Living with Tax in New Zealand, Shoal Bay Press

Jenny Phillips, Business Energy. 10 ways to boost your business in changing times, Random House

Christine Dekker, Transferable Skills, Random House

Adrienne Von Tunzelmann with David Cullwick, Social Responsibility and the Company: A New Perspective on Governance, Strategy and the Community, Institute of Policy Studies

Laurie Hilsgen/Helen Vause, Working from Home, Viking

Marie Stuttard, The Power of Public Speaking, Bateman

David Forman, The Wealth Creators, Viking

Ann Gibson and Annie Gray, Understanding Investment: The New Zealand Commercial and Industrial Property Market, Hodder Moa Beckett

Ed Gary Hawke, Employment and the Future of Work, Institute of Policy Studies


Katherine Phelps/Chris Lipscombe, Surf’s Up: Internet New Zealand Style, Reed

Peter Wiggin, Wired Kiwis. Every New Zealander’s Guide to the Internet, Shoal Bay


Susan Parkinson, Peggy Stacy and Adrian Mattinson, Taste of the Pacific, Bateman

Allyson Gofton, Casual Dining, Bateman

Allyson Gofton, Casual Nibbles, Bateman

ed Alison Dench, Granny’s Pantry — New Zealand Favourites, Penguin

ed Alison Dench, Granny’s Potatoes — new ways with an old favourite, Penguin

Country Women’s Institute, Recipes from the Heartland, Penguin

Jocelyn Sonne, An Apple a Day Favourite New Zealand Recipes for all Seasons, Viking

Carole Ruta, Terrific Tomatoes, Viking

Dianne Taylor, The Cafe Cookbook: Great Eating from New Zealand’s Best Cafes, Viking

Robyn Martin, New Zealand Quick ‘n’ Easy: Vegetables — soups, snacks, salads and more, Hodder Moa Beckett

Allyson Gofton, The Next Book of Fabulous Food, Viking


Lindsey Dawson, The Next Book of Home Decorating for New Zealand, Viking


Carol Matheson, Hardanger Plus for New Zealanders, Bateman

June Thornton, Make Your Own Cosmetics — skin lotions, soaps, shampoos and conditioners, Viking

Catherine McGreivy, Hot Flowers, Penguin


Denis and Jillian Friar, Private Gardens of New Zealand (South Island), Hodder Moa Beckett

Gillian Painter, Essential Herb Garden — growing and using herbs in New Zealand (revised ed), Viking

Sue Linn, Palmers Book of Spring Bulbs, Random House

Penelope Hansen and Ann Skelly, Herbs. Growing and Using Herbs in New Zealand, Viking

Stephanie Parkes, The Renovated Transitional Bungalow Garden, Shoal Bay

Gillian Painter, The Herb Growers Handbook for New Zealanders, Bateman

Ed Matthew Bradbury, A History of The Garden in New Zealand, Viking

Jacqueline Sparrow, Seaside Gardening, Viking

Mark Everton, Living Earth, Viking


Andrea Hammond, Star Signs for New Zealanders, Penguin

Bob Kerridge, Talking for the Animals, Tandem

John Barnett and Lesley Kaiser in assn with Brian Schaab, The Penguin Book of New Zealand Jokes, Penguin


Ed Peter Donovan, Religions of New Zealand (2 ed), Dunmore

Jock Phillips, A Man’s Country. the image of the pakeha male — a history, Penguin

Maurice Shadbolt, This Summer’s Dolphin, Hodder Moa Beckett

Maurice Shadbolt, Danger Zone, Hodder Moa Beckett

Jane Mander, Allen Adair, Godwit

Harry Bioletti, The Yanks are coming — the American invasion of New Zealand, Random

Halina Ogonowska-Coates, Krystyna’s Story, Bridget Williams Books

Pauline O’Regan, A changing order, Bridget Williams Books

Frances Porter, Born to New Zealand — a biography of Maria Atkinson, Bridget Williams Books

ed Adrienne Jansen, I have in my arms both ways — stories by 10 immigrant women, Bridget Williams Books

John Elder, The Hidden Mask, John McIndoe

Ed Ambury Hall, Below the Surface, Vintage

Eidel Rasmuss, By the Light of the Moon, dean farran (print productions)

Patricia Grace, Potiki, Penguin

Patricia Grace, Mutuwhenua, Penguin

Witi Ihimaera, The Whale Rider, Mandarin

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