Blog Archives

A magic lantern show, Stevan Eldred-Grigg

Hellhole of the Pacific Richard Wolfe Penguin, $35.00, ISBN 0143019872 Kororareka in the Bay of Islands in some ways resembles Akaroa on Banks Peninsula. The two tiny townships were settings for power plays by various groups for a few brief…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

In the beginning was the word, Nelson Wattie

The New Zealand Oxford Dictionary ed Tony Deverson and Graeme Kennedy Oxford University Press, $130, ISBN 0195584511 Lexicographers are celebrating the 250th anniversary of the publication, on 15 April 1755, of Samuel Johnson’s dictionary, the book that made their profession…
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Posted in Language, Non-fiction, Review

Facing off, Norman Bilbrough

This Thing in the Mirror: Self Portraits by New Zealand Artists Claire Finlayson Craig Potton Publishing, $49.95, ISBN 1877333182 This Thing in the Mirror has a foreword by television presenter John Campbell, and the opening statement, “This is a book…
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Posted in Art, Non-fiction, Review

Down by the river, Charlotte Yates

How to Listen to Pop Music Nick Bollinger Awa Press, $24.95, ISBN 0958250960 Nick Bollinger is well known as a music reviewer or, perhaps the weightier epithet, rock journalist. He has worked in print media since 1988 for, among others,…
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Posted in Essays, Music, Non-fiction, Review

The operative words, Rae McGregor

Writing at the Edge of the Universe ed Mark Williams Canterbury University Press, $34.95, ISBN 1877257311 I wonder if Patrick Evans realised, when he wrote that salty article about students from Bill Manhire’s Victoria University creative writing programme (New Zealand…
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Posted in Education, Non-fiction, Review

Proclaiming to the barbarians, Philip Temple

The Mediator: A Life of Richard Taylor 1805-1873 J M R Owens Victoria University Press, $39.95, ISBN 0864734646 Richard Taylor was one of the more effective and influential of Church Missionary Society (CMS) workers during that golden age for missionaries,…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Sacred and profane, John Horrocks

The Red Tram C K Stead Auckland University Press, $24.95, ISBN 1869403304 The Merino Princess Bernadette Hall Victoria University Press, $29.95, ISBN 0864734921 Learning to Lie Together Diane Brown Godwit, $22.95, ISBN 1869621093 Trams. For me the tram is part…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry

Editorial – Issue 69

Miffed, maltreated and murderous In our last editorial we looked at reviewing from the relatively unimpassioned viewpoint of what’s good for New Zealand writing, reviewers and readers. But what, to misapply Freud, do authors want? The question is nowhere near…
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Posted in Editorial

Moments of magic, Harry Ricketts

Selected Poems Basil Dowling Global Vision, $34.95, ISBN 3950186204 “Magic is what I’m after,” observes Basil Dowling in “The Aim of Art” from his 1973 collection The Unreturning Native and Other Poems. It is the kind of claim made by…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

OM – pride of the south, Sue McCauley

Watch of Gryphons and Other Stories Owen Marshall Vintage, $27.95, ISBN 1869417062 Occasional: 50 Poems Owen Marshall Hazard, $25, ISBN 187727089X In 1979 I reviewed – I think for the New Zealand Listener – a slim book entitled Supper Waltz…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Poetry, Review, Short stories
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