Blog Archives

Streets, waters, winds, Kirsty Gunn

A Strange Beautiful Excitement: Katherine Mansfield’s Wellington 1888 – 1903 Redmer Yska Otago University Press, $40.00, ISBN 9780947522544 “There is a handful of writers” begins Vincent O’Sullivan’s introduction to a rare and illuminating account of the city in which Katherine…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

“Loneliness was his condition”, Owen Marshall

Notes From the Margins: The West Coast’s Peter Hooper Pat White Frontiers Press, $35.00, ISBN 9780473380663 A journey is a kind of endless forgetting. The boys lived only in the present, seeking a river crossing, probing a thorny thicket for…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Nosing out the story, Lawrence Patchett

Breaking Ranks: Three Interrupted Lives James McNeish HarperCollins, $35.00, ISBN 9781775540908 Partway through Breaking Ranks: Three Interrupted Lives, James McNeish stops his narrative to admit his own bias. “At this point,” he writes, “I had better come clean and declare…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

The long and the short of it, Jock Phillips

A Peculiar Gentleman: George Rusden – A Life  John O’Leary Australian Scholarly, $50.00, ISBN 9781925333404 The World, the Flesh and the Devil: The Life and Opinions of Samuel Marsden in England and the Antipodes, 1765-1838 Andrew Sharp Auckland University Press,…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Devouring the monster within, Jon Johansson

Crossing the Floor: The Story of Tariana Turia Helen Leahy Huia, $45.00, ISBN 9781775501633 In Helen Leahy’s Crossing the Floor: The Story of Tariana Turia, a tale is told about Tūtaeporoporo, a taniwha taking the form of a shark. Tūtaeporoporo…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Undesirables and worthies, John O’Leary

The Girl Who Stole Stockings: The True Story of Susannah Noon and the Women of the Convict Ship Friends Elsbeth Hardie Australian Teachers of Media, $40.00, ISBN 9781876467241 May Your Shadow Never Grow Less: The Life and Times of Henry…
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Posted in Biography, History, Non-fiction, Review

Dazzling, dizzying cornucopias Stella Ramage

Marcus King: Painting New Zealand for the World Peter Alsop and Warren Feeney Potton & Burton, $80.00, ISBN 9781927213704 Vivid: The Paul Hartigan Story Don Abbott RF Books, $65.00, ISBN 9780473337117 Marcus King and Paul Hartigan belong to that interesting…
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Posted in Art, Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Rescuing an heroic figure, Jane Westaway

Petals & Bullets: Dorothy Morris, New Zealand Nurse in the Spanish Civil War Mark Derby Potton and Burton, $40.00, ISBN 9781927213766 In the preface to Mark Derby’s new book, Spanish War historian Angela Jackson writes of the challenge in recounting…
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Posted in Biography, History, Non-fiction, Review, War

Air-brushed, Nicholas Reid

Helen Clark: Inside Stories Claudia Pond Eyley and Dan Salmon (eds) Auckland University Press, $40.00, ISBN 978186940 8381 She led the parliamentary Labour Party for 15 years and served for nine years as New Zealand’s first elected woman prime minister.…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Hero worship, Gyles Beckford

A Few Hares to Chase: The Life and Economics of Bill Phillips Alan Bollard Auckland University Press, $40.00 ISBN 9781869408299 The sages have long counselled that you should never meet your heroes. Should that be extended to writing about them?…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review
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