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

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

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

Looking forward, Tim Hazledine

The Big Questions: What is New Zealand’s Future?  Various authors Penguin Random House, $38.00 ISBN 9780143772378 I’ve been worrying about Trump. Not the man – a lost cause, that – but the movement: Trumpism – the apparently bigoted, intolerant, resentful…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Whose history? Simon Hay

wThe Expatriate Myth: New Zealand Writers and the Colonial World  Helen Bones Otago University Press, $35.00, ISBN 9781988531175 The Expatriates  Martin Edmond Bridget Williams Books, $50.00, ISBN 9781988533179 Helen Bones aims to dismantle the “myth” that New Zealand writers, in…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

At a crossroads, Max Harris

Unquiet Time: Aotearoa/New Zealand in a Fast-changing World Colin James Fraser Books, $39.50, ISBN 9780994136015 Last year, Colin James published his final weekly column with the Otago Daily Times, after over 50 years of work as a journalist. In a…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Grudging nationalist, Mark Williams

Charles Brasch: Journals 1945-1957 Peter Simpson (ed) Otago University Press, $60.00, ISBN 9781927322284 I approached this book rather in the spirit of someone visiting a civic monument to a figure august and admired, but obscurely known. In the late 1980s,…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

“An area of increasing need”, Sylvan Thomson

Representing Trans: Linguistic, Legal and Everyday Perspectives  Evan Hazenberg and Miriam Meyerhoff (eds) Victoria University Press, $40.00, ISBN 9781776561759   The day before this review was due, my mother messaged me to say that she had heard an interview on…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Getting the news out, James Norcliffe

Surviving 7.8: New Zealanders Respond to the Earthquakes of November 2016 Phil Pennington and Radio New Zealand HarperCollins, $35.00, ISBN 9781775541103   New Zealanders, Cantabrians in particular, have, over the last half-dozen years, become reluctant experts in earthquakes. We have…
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Posted in History, Media, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Larrikins past, Nick Bollinger

Teenagers: The Rise of Youth Culture in New Zealand Chris Brickell Auckland University Press, $50.00, ISBN 9781869408688   In 1971, I became a teenager. It was the start of a complicated, confusing, exciting time. Over the next few years, I…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Review, Sociology
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