Blog Archives

Plays and playmaking, Mark Houlahan

Performing Dramaturgy Fiona Graham Playmarket, $40.00, ISBN 9780908607648 Floating Islanders: Pasifika Theatre in Aotearoa Lisa Warrington and David O’Donnell ISBN 9781988531076 Dawn Raids Oscar Kightley Playmarket, $18.00, ISBN 97809080607631 “What is a dramaturg?” I overheard that question earlier this year…
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Posted in Art, Literature, Non-fiction, Pacific, Plays, Review

Connecting kindred tribes, David Eggleton

Black Marks on the White Page Witi Ihimaera and Tina Makereti (eds) Penguin Random House, $40.00, ISBN 9780143770299 Billed as a guidebook to the contemporary literature of Oceania, Black Marks on the White Page is not quite that; it’s too…
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Posted in Art, Literature, Māori, Non-fiction, Pacific, Short stories

Development journalism, Alex Perrottet

Don’t Spoil My Beautiful Face: Media, Mayhem and Human Rights in the Pacific David Robie Little Island Press ISBN 9781877484254 It’s easy to read a book written by a journalist, especially if it covers wars, environmental disasters, independence struggles, and…
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Posted in Media, Non-fiction, Pacific, Review

Pacific art on the world stage, Ian Lochhead

Art in Oceania: A New History  Peter Brunt and Nicholas Thomas (eds) Thames and Hudson, $130.00, ISBN 9780500239018 When New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) opened its landmark exhibition Arts of the South Seas in 1946, the war in…
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Posted in Art, Non-fiction, Pacific, Review

Erratic humanity, Roger Blackley

Nerli: An Italian Painter in the South Pacific Michael Dunn Auckland University Press, $79.99, ISBN I869403355 According to the traditional mythology of New Zealand art, the annus mirabilis of 1890 heralds the arrival of professionalism and modernism in the figures…
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Posted in Art, Non-fiction, Pacific, Review

A spirit intense and rare, Doug Munro

Robert Louis Stevenson: His Best Pacific Writings ed Roger Robinson Streamline, $34.95, ISBN 0958210624 Everyone knows about Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), described by a contemporary as “a spirit intense and rare” and immortalised by Samoans as Tusitala (the teller of…
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Posted in Literature, Pacific, Review

Rediscovering the great white discoverer, Jock Phillips

The Trial of the Cannibal Dog: Captain Cook in the South Seas Anne Salmond Allen Lane, $59.95, ISBN 0713996617 I will not forget reading Anne Salmond’s Two Worlds. I was on holiday at Tolaga Bay. Between walks to Cook’s Cove…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Pacific, Review

Wish you were here, Jane Westaway

On Blue Ice – A Not Very Brave Journey to Antarctica Kim Griggs Random House, $26.95, ISBN 1869415760 Travels with my Mother Peter Calder Tandem, $29.95, ISBN 1877298093 The most memorable travel books don’t merely transport you to foreign parts,…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Pacific, Review

Art as survival, David Eggleton

Pacific Art Niu Sila: the Pacific Dimension of Contemporary New Zealand Arts  ed Sean Mallon and Pandora Fulimalo Pereira Te Papa Press,$49.95, ISBN 0909010838 Robert Louis Stevenson, writing about Samoan culture over a century ago, expressed it thus: No occasion…
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Posted in Art, Non-fiction, Pacific, Review

Lagoon-level view, Martin Sutton

In Polynesia Antony Alpers Hazard Press, $29.95, ISBN 1877161802 For over forty years, Antony Alpers has given us books which all share as their main themes the diametrically opposed but often intersecting realms of myth and reality, fact and fiction.…
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Posted in History, Literature, Non-fiction, Pacific, Review
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