Blog Archives

Way down South, Peter Beck

A Wise Adventure: New Zealand and Antarctica 1920-1960  Malcolm Templeton Victoria University Press, with the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Wellington, $39.95, ISBN 0864734034 Antarctica is often presented as “a pole apart” because of its peripheral location, geographical isolation,…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

Tolling on, James Brown

The Bells of Saint Babel’s: Poems 1997-2001 Allen Curnow Auckland University Press, $19.95, ISBN 1869402421 There is much to admire in Curnow’s first completely new book since The Loop in Lone Kauri Road (1986). To the fore is his great…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

Fragile as corrugated iron, Kim Hill

Angel of the Anzacs: The Life of Nola Luxford Carol van Grondelle Victoria University Press, $39.95, ISBN 0864733976 Nola Luxford left New Zealand in 1919, at the age of 23, for Hollywood. She never quite made the Big Time in…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

“Life in one’s mouth”, Peter Bland

Louis Johnson: Selected Poems ed Terry Sturm Victoria University Press, $29.95, ISBN 086473350X There’s a short poem by Louis Johnson which I’ve always admired. It’s called “Intemperance” and it tells us a lot in a very short space, both about…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

To be a pilgrim, Susan Paris

As Fair as New Zealand to Me: New Zealand Writers in Katherine Mansfield’s Menton Victoria University Press, $24.95, ISBN 0864733984 The French Riviera … not the most obvious place to spend time concentrating on your writing. But because of Mansfield’s…
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Posted in Essays, Literature, Non-fiction, Review

Robber barons, worker rebels, Gavin McLean

British Capital, Antipodean Labour: Working the New Zealand Waterfront 1915-1951 Anna Green Otago University Press, $39.95, ISBN 187713399X A few weeks ago, a retired port agency manager asked  me who was “this Anna Green lady” and did I know anything…
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Posted in Health, Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review

Not tolling for me, Heather Murray

The Bells of Saint Babel’s: Poems 1997-2001 Allen Curnow Auckland University Press, $19.95, ISBN 1869402421 They have all gone into the dark: the fellow poets of his youth and middle age, the critics, the early shapers and gatekeepers of New…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

Rough around the edges, Phil Kawana

Camilla Vanilla  Nick Hyde Vintage, $24.95, ISBN 1869414519 The Gospel @ccording to Cole  Rhonda Bartle Cape Catley, $24.95, ISBN 0908561830 A good cover should draw you towards a book, and the covers of both these novels do just that. The…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Buried stories, Jane Tolerton

The Land Girls: In a man’s world Dianne Bardsley Otago University Press, $39.95, ISBN 1877133949 The Women’s War: New Zealand Women 1939-45 Deborah Montgomerie Auckland University Press, $39.95, ISBN 1869402448 Living in the 20th Century: New Zealand History in Photographs…
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Posted in Gender, History, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology, War

More than a decent splash, Diana Bridge

Carnival of New Zealand Creatures Lauris Edmond Pemmican Press, $14.95, ISBN 0473073188 I’ll Tell You This Much Vincent O’Sullivan Pemmican Press, $14.95, ISBN 047306345X Avalanche  Vivienne Plumb Pemmican Press, $14.95, ISBN 0473067056 Plunge Harry Ricketts Pemmican Press, $14.95, ISBN 0473076306…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review
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