Blog Archives

Going high, Julia Millen

To the Mountains: A Collection of New Zealand Alpine Writing Laurence Fearnley and Paul Hersey (eds) Otago University Press, $45.00, ISBN 9781988531205 Since the arrival of Pacific peoples, New Zealand’s mountains have enthralled and enchanted. Māori revered the craggy peaks…
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Posted in History, Literature, Natural History, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

A critical lamp in a dark world, Helen Watson White

Charles Brasch: Journals 1958-1973 Charles Brasch, selected by Peter Simpson Otago University Press, $60.00, ISBN 9781988531144  “How many existences one leads at once,” wrote Dunedin poet, critic, patron and Landfall editor Charles Brasch in 1958:  I am here with LF…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Review

A singular genius, Andrew Wood

Colours of a Life: The Life and Times of Douglas MacDiarmid Anna Cahill Mary Egan Publishing, $80.00, ISBN 9780473423834 Over the decades, New Zealand has lost a tragic amount of cultural talent overseas for many reasons: the old bashing machine…
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Posted in Art, Biography, Non-fiction

Unpleasant truths, Douglas Lloyd Jenkins

Theo Schoon: A Biography Damian Skinner Massey University Press, $60.00, ISBN 9780995100176 Hudson and Halls: The Food of Love Joanne Drayton Otago University Press, $50.00, ISBN 9781988531267 There has long been an uneasiness on the part of local biographers when…
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Posted in Art, Biography, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Making it and making it up, C K Stead

Life as a Novel – A Biography of Maurice Shadbolt, Volume I, 1932-1973 Philip Temple David Ling, $45.00, ISBN 9781927305447 Recently, I have been writing an autobiography and consequently hunting out old letters. One I found, written to Kay from…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

A view of the inner cemeteries, Reuben Johnson

Mind that Child: A Medical Memoir Simon Rowley with Adam Dudding Penguin, $35.00, ISBN 9780143771982 We can Make a Life: A Memoir of Family, Earthquake and Courage Chessie Henry Victoria University Press, $35.00, ISBN 9781776561940 Dr Simon Rowley is a…
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Posted in Health, Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

The games we play, Owen Mann

Sport and the New Zealanders: A History Greg Ryan and Geoff Watson Auckland University Press, $65.00, ISBN 9781869408831 On Christmas Day last year, many people around the country would have ripped open a well-wrapped gift to discover a sportsperson’s biography…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Review, Sociology, Sport

Private life and public record, Kate Hannah

The Unconventional Career of Dr Muriel Bell Diana Brown Otago University Press, $35.00, ISBN 9781988531304 Perhaps some are surprised that a scientist whose impact on New Zealand’s health, particularly the health of women and children, could have been, up until…
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Posted in Biography, Health, Non-fiction, Review

In the service of one’s country, Mary Varnham

Le Quesnoy 1918: New Zealand’s Last Battle Christopher Pugsley Oratia, $45.00, ISBN 9780947506490 My father served on the Western Front, having signed up at the age of 17 or thereabouts. He came from a lonely farm in the Akatarawa Valley,…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Review, War

Fighting the good fight, Philip Simpson

Fight for the Forests Paul Bensemann Potton and Burton, $70.00, ISBN 9780947503130 This book is a marvellous chronicle of the people, the campaigns, the sorrows and sacrifices and, ultimately, the achievement to protect New Zealand’s unique publicly owned native forests.…
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Posted in Natural History, Non-fiction, Science
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