Blog Archives

The dangers of absolutism, John Larkindale

Balancing Acts: Reflections of a New Zealand Diplomat Gerald McGhie Dunmore, $35.00 ISBN 978927212318 Friends and relations often suggest to diplomats following their retirement that they should write a book about their experiences. Not so, in my view; the world…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

A bizarre, but very New Zealand, world, Jonathan Lane

Daughter of Gloriavale: My Life in a Religious Cult Lilia Tarawa Allen and Unwin, $37.00, ISBN 9781760631499 Lilia Tarawa’s memoir, Daughter of Gloriavale, paints her childhood somewhere between an idyllic summer camp in the country and the winged bonnets and…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Art about sadness, Dylan Horrocks

Out of the Woods: A Journey Through Depression and Anxiety Brent Williams (Korkut Öztekin illus) Educational Resources, $40.00, ISBN 9780473390068 American cartoonist Keiler Roberts, whose comics have eloquently documented her own struggles with mental illness, recently wondered on Facebook about…
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Posted in Art, Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Peacetime at last, Helen Watson White

Astride a Fierce Wind Huberta Hellendoorn Submarine, $38.00, ISBN 9780473395216 Writing in retirement in the small Dunedin apartment she shares with her husband Bart, Huberta Hellendoorn characteristically uses a domestic metaphor to describe her ever-changing experience: The revolving dryer reminds…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Brave writing, Charlotte Simmonds

The Walking Stick Tree Trish Harris Escalator Press, $35.00, ISBN 9780994118646 A Small Blue Thing Julie Hanify Submarine, $35.00, ISBN 9780994123770 The Case of the Missing Body Jenny Powell Otago University Press, $30.00, ISBN 9781877578311 What Does the Sea Sound…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Making friends with Mansfield, Ashlee Nelson

Mansfield and Me: A Graphic Memoir Sarah Laing Victoria University Press, $35.00, ISBN 9781776560691 The graphic form is in some ways a more complex undertaking than straightforward prose, for a graphic text must concern itself not only with the words…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

The scars remain; the story must be told,  Helena Wiśniewska Brow

Budapest Girl: An Immigrant Confronts the Past Panni Palásti Matai River Press, $35.00, ISBN 9780473343712 “Who wants to talk about the past anymore? And who wants to hear?” It’s a challenge to the author from a former Budapest schoolmate, one…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Writing about writing, Anne Else

Talk of Treasure  Jane Carswell Submarine, $35.00, ISBN 9780994137913 How do you depict the process of writing? Very few of the many films about writers try to show their protagonist actually doing it. Doctor Zhivago demonstrates why: Omar Sharif sits…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Poetic truths, Helen Heath

In a Slant Light: A Poet’s Memoir Cilla McQueen Otago University Press, $35.00, ISBN 9781877578717 When I read Elizabeth Knox’s personal essays The Love School, in 2008, I finally realised that a writer’s past is whatever they say it is.…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Full fathom five, Kevin Ireland

My Father’s Island: A Memoir Adam Dudding Victoria University Press, $35.00 ISBN 9781776560820 When Edmund Gosse pioneered a new category of personal, interrogating biography, with Father and Son (1907), he framed painful questions and set down intimate dilemmas that won…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review
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