Wellington writer Jane Westaway on sharing the shelves
After a gap of 10 years, I am again living in sin, and the biggest, most dismaying aspect of this sin has been disposing of at least two-thirds of my life-time book collection. It feels just plain wrong. Like hacking your own arm off. And someone else’s.
New Zealand Review of Books Pukapuka Aotearoa would like to offer a huge vote of thanks to Pauline and Peter Russell, who between them have acted as proofreaders for the quarterly for nearly 20 years. Proofreading requires much more than…
Novelist and memoirist Elspeth Sandys reflects on the need and use of endnotes
We are all familiar with the conversation about the relation between fiction and non-fiction. “I write fiction and I’m told it’s autobiography. I write autobiography and I’m told it’s fiction,” Philip Roth famously complained. I suspect his complaint will continue to be heard until there are no more writers and no more books, since the only thing critics seem able to agree on is that the border between fiction and non-fiction is, to use Andrew O’Hagan’s word, “unstable”. Any attempt to erect a wall between the two is doomed to fail.
Auckland novelist Graeme Lay muses upon book launches past, present and future.
There was a time when a book, upon publication, had to be launched. The venue was usually a much-loved bookshop, chosen in the hope that love for the shop would rub off on the book being launched. Favourite venues were Unity Books in Wellington and Auckland, Time Out in Mount Eden, and Paradox Books in Devonport. Whitcoulls rarely featured.
Broadcaster and documentary maker Justin Gregory reflects on James McNeish’s “portrait” of John Mulgan.
In 1994, James McNeish wrote, narrated and produced a feature-length radio programme on a man he described as perhaps the “darkest” of New Zealand’s “dark horses”: writer, publisher and soldier John Mulgan. McNeish called the programme A Man with Two Countries, adding the subtitle A Portrait of John Mulgan (1911-1945). The programme was broadcast on Radio New Zealand’s National Radio in April that year.
Liesl Nunns, co-founding editor of the digital literary journal Headland, describes the opportunities of digital publication.
On a March morning in 2014, stirred up by Professor Dame Anne Salmond’s speech at the International Women’s Day breakfast at Parliament, Laura McNeur and I began a conversation that, four years later, has resulted in 12 (fantastic) issues of Headland (www.headland.org.nz) and counting. Whether it was imposter syndrome, a reaction to tall poppy syndrome, some other kind of syndrome, or perhaps just a healthy amount of humility and good manners, I remember feeling that we needed to wait till we woke up as Bill Manhire or Fergus Barrowman before we could have the chutzpah to call ourselves the founding editors of a literary journal.
Writer Fleur Beale considers what’s difficult and desirable in books for YA readers.
The answer to the question of what responsibility writers may or may not have to their teenage readers in essence for me is to write a damn good, emotionally true story. Part of the difficulty of pinning it more precisely lies in the fact that a teenage audience includes such a wide spectrum of maturity and experience that a book resonating with one reader might be something a different reader would not even consider looking at.
Sarah Knox (Assistant Chief Librarian) and Fiona Oliver (Curator New Zealand and Pacific Publications) of the Alexander Turnbull Library | National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa commemorate a most generous gift.
The library came into being when Alexander Turnbull – Wellington merchant, yachtsman, golfer, collector, confirmed bachelor and handsome dandy – bequeathed his library to the nation in 1918. Two years later, in 1920, the doors of the library opened to the public for the first time.