Blog Archives

A complicated relationship, Thom Conroy

The Ice Shelf Anne Kennedy Victoria University Press, $30.00, ISBN 9781776562015 What role does a book invite me to accept as its reader? I need not comply with a book’s request, of course, but I’m bound to recognise or, at…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Colonial orientalism, Paula Morris

Galleries of Maoriland: Artists, Collectors and the Māori World, 1880–1910  Roger Blackley Auckland University Press, $75.00, ISBN 9781869409357 The cover image of Roger Blackley’s impressive new book is a famous one: a tea break in Charles Goldie’s frame-stacked studio in…
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Posted in Art, History, Non-fiction, Review

“Evolution or revolution?”, Simon Upton

The New Biological Economy: How New Zealanders are Creating Value from the Land Eric Pawson and the Biological Economies Team Auckland University Press, $45.00, ISBN 9781869408886 Having lived away from New Zealand for the best part of 15 years, I…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Review

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

Listening for the voice, Janet Hughes

Coming to it: Selected Poems Sam Hunt Potton and Burton, $30.00, ISBN 9780947503802 Poeta: Selected and New Poems Cilla McQueen Otago University Press, $40.00, ISBN 9781988531281 Watching for the Wingbeat: New and Selected Poems Pat White Cold Hub Press, $40.00,…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

“Lashings of empathy”, Tina Shaw

From the Ashes Deborah Challinor HarperCollins, $37.00, ISBN 9781460754122 What You Wish For Catherine Robertson Black Swan, $38.00, ISBN 9780143772811 Discovering that From the Ashes is a sequel to Fire, Challinor’s 2006 novel, makes sense of this novel’s title. Fire…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

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
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