Blog Archives

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

Carnival anarchists, Martin Edmond

Goneville: A Memoir Nick Bollinger Awa Press, $39.00, ISBN 9781927249543 This Explains Everything Richard von Sturmer Atuanui Press, $30.00, ISBN 9780994137609 The authors of these two books have a few things in common: they were both born in late 1950s…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Adding to the New Zealand story, Helene Wong

Red Dust Over Shanghai: A Shanghai–New Zealand Memoir 1937–1954 Tyl von Randow Eunoia Publishing, $38.00, ISBN 9780994104779 Shanghai has always held an allure for me. Stories about what Westerners got up to in the “Paris of the East” in the…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Pretence and defence, Melinda Johnston

Bromhead: Scratching a Living Peter Bromhead Penguin Books, $38.00, ISBN 9780143574200 In the Cartoon Archive at the Alexander Turnbull Library there is a marvellous ink caricature captioned “The loveable fun-loving Monsieur Bromhead”. Drawn in 2001 by caricaturist Dinah Priestley (a…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Memory, mateship and mortality, David Grant

Going South: A Road Trip Through Life Colin Hogg HarperCollins, $35.00, ISBN 9781775540816 The premise of this book is simple. Well-known journalist and influential rock music critic, Colin Hogg, was in deep discussion last year with mates at a birthday…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

The archaeologist of memory, Ingrid Horrocks

The Dreaming Land Martin Edmond Bridget Williams Books, $40.00, ISBN 9780908321490 The Dreaming Land is Martin Edmond’s first full-length work of autobiography, but he’s been working in the territory of life writing and memoir for a long time. He is…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Telling our stories to ourselves, Chris Else

Jerome Kaino: My Story Jerome Kaino Penguin, $40.00, ISBN 9780143573562 Wildboy Brando Yelavich Penguin, $35.00, ISBN 9780143573159 The Good Doctor Lance O’Sullivan Penguin, $38.00, ISBN 9780143572510 How Bizarre Simon Grigg Awa Press, $38.00, ISBN 9781927249222 Lydia Bradey: Going Up is…
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Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

The Richie McCaw of golf caddies, Spiro Zavos

Out of the Rough Steve Williams with Michael Donaldson Penguin, $40.00, ISBN 9780143573555   Here is Adam Scott, the languid Australian golfer, on the second playoff hole of the 2013 Masters. He has hit his second shot to the green.…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

The thinking man’s cartoonist, Dylan Horrocks

Brockie: A Memoir in Words, Cartoons and Sketches Bob Brockie New Zealand Cartoon Archive/Fraser Books, $39.50 ISBN 9780958232074 David Lange called Brockie “the thinking man’s cartoonist”. Which is pretty nice of Lange, considering that Brockie had drawn him on various…
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Posted in Art, History, Memoir, Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review
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