Blog Archives

Best of all possible worlds? Stephen Levine

Promises Promises: 80 Years Of Wooing New Zealand Voters Claire Robinson Massey University Press, $60.00, ISBN 9780995109544 When Jacinda Ardern stated in 2017 that, if elected, Labour would move to “abolish child poverty”, this resonated as an ambitious goal, enlightened,…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review

Controversial still, John O’Leary

A Communist In The Family Elspeth Sandys Otago University Press, $40.00, ISBN 9781988531601 Families are complicated things. Members don’t necessarily agree with one another, or even like one another; relationships can be strained, or snapped, then re-made across the years.…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Words and deeds, Helen Watson White

The Political Years Marilyn Waring Bridget Williams Books, $40.00, ISBN 9781988545936 The cover of Marilyn Waring’s book The Political Years shows a telling photograph of the 1979 National Party caucus in the Beehive: row upon row of suited men, with…
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Posted in Autobiography, Non-fiction, Review

One of us, David Groves

Karl Wolfskehl: A Poet In Exile Friedrich Voit Cold Hub Press, $40.00, ISBN 9780473476694 We have many short accounts in English of aspects of the life, character and writings of Karl Wolfskehl. Friedrich Voit now gives us a biography, in…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

The life and the work, Martin Edmond

In Fifteen Minutes You Can Say A Lot: Selected Fiction Greville Texidor, (Kendrick Smithyman ed) Victoria University Press, $30.00, ISBN 9781776562268 All The Juicy Pastures: Greville Texidor And New Zealand Margot Schwass Victoria University Press, $40.00, ISBN 9781776562251 In April…
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Posted in Biography, Fiction, Literature, Non-fiction, Review

Bullies behind the screen, Jane Westaway

Whale Oil Margie Thomson Potton and Burton, $40.00, ISBN 9780947503819 The authors of certain books published in this country deserve medals. Not literary prizes, although they might merit these, too. But I mean authors who devote themselves to uncovering connections…
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Posted in Media, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

A travelling life, Tony Mackle

Don’t Forget To Feed The Cat: The Travel Letters And Sketches Of Stewart Bell Maclennan Mary Bell Thornton (ed) The Cuba Press, $40.00, ISBN 9781988595009 This delightful and beautifully produced book is a worthwhile read on several levels. It is…
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Posted in Letters, Non-fiction, Review

Radical carrot, upside down parrot, Gregory O’Brien

Frances Hodgkins: European Journeys Catherine Hammond and Mary Kisler (eds) Auckland University Press, $75.00, ISBN 9781869408930 Finding Frances Hodgkins Mary Kisler Massey University Press, $45.00, ISBN 9780995102972 You reach a certain age and your favourite artists and writers start invading…
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Posted in Art, Biography, Non-fiction, Review

“The play’s the thing”, Sarah Ross

Ngaio Marsh’s Hamlet: The 1943 Production Script Polly Hoskins (ed) Canterbury University Press, $30.00, ISBN 9781988503134 In August 1943, as New Zealand troops in Europe began the Italian campaign, the Canterbury University College Drama Society (CUCDS) performed Hamlet to sell-out…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Plays, Review

Imperial identities, Tim Cook

For King And Other Countries: The New Zealanders Who Fought In Other Services In The First World War Glyn Harper Massey University Press, $60.00, ISBN 9780995102996 New Zealand, like Australia, Canada, India, Newfoundland and South Africa, contributed enormous numbers of…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, War
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