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Colliding pasts, Lydia Wevers

Tears of Rangi: Experiments Across Worlds
Anne Salmond
Auckland University Press, $65.00,
ISBN 9781869408657


The cover blurb suggests Tears of Rangi is Anne Salmond’s “most ambitious book to date”, and in many respects this is the case, since in it Salmond tackles vast epistemological and ontological questions to do with the nature of reality and knowledge. Part of the sequence of books beginning with Two Worlds in 1991, Tears of Rangi is a hefty tome (509 pages), but, like her previous books, it is compellingly readable. Salmond has the gift of narrative, and it probably helps that she is also a superb orator. She has given a number of presentations on the material covered in this book and draws large and appreciative audiences.

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Posted in History, Māori, Non-fiction

Bad luck, bad language, bad management, Bronwyn Dalley

Bligh: William Bligh in the South Seas Anne Salmond Viking, $65.00, ISBN 9780670075560   One of the prefaces in the late Greg Dening’s Mr Bligh’s Bad Language: Passion, Power and Theatre on the Bounty (1992) is written at the “bicentenary

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Posted in Biography, History, Non-fiction, Review

Innocence, disruption, death, Tom Brooking

Aphrodite’s Island: The European Discovery of Tahiti Anne Salmond Viking, $65.00, ISBN 9780670073962 The publication of a new book by Anne Salmond is always an occasion worth celebrating and savouring. Aphrodite’s Island, about the European discovery of, and encounter with,

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

Spot on the sun, David Hill

The Transit of Venus Marilyn Head (ed) Awa Press, $24.99, ISBN 978095826972 A few years back, I had to review a self-published New Zealand novel. It was seriously rotten, and I wrote that it “tried to be bad, bold and

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Posted in Non-fiction, Review, Science

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

Ancient meetings of the past, Bernard Kernot

Two Worlds: first meetings between Maori and Europeans 1642-1772 Anne Salmond, Viking, Auckland, 1991, $69.95 First meetings of Maori and Europeans varied widely in their intensity and outcome. The four dealt with in Two Worlds include Tasman’s brief but disastrous encounter with

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Posted in History, Māori, Non-fiction, Review
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