Blog Archives

The high ground, Simon Upton

Whose High Country? A History of the South Island High Country of New Zealand  Roberta McIntyre Penguin Books, $45.00,  ISBN 97801430084125 At the risk of irretrievably mixing one’s metaphors, it is dairy farmers who are today on the sheep’s back.…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

Time out, Mark Houlahan

Chinese Opera Ian Wedde Victoria University Press, $30.00, ISBN 9780864735850 When a story by Ian Wedde called “Chinese Opera” was published in Sport 2, readers were informed that he expected to “finish Chinese Opera, his fourth novel, in 1989.” Nineteen…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Troubled missionary, Paul Moon

God’s Messenger: J F Riemenschneider and Racial Conflict in 19th Century New Zealand Peter Oettli Huia, $55.00, ISBN 9781869693201 The lives of missionaries in 19th century New Zealand have tended to end up being documented in two forms. The first…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Religion, Review

Sheering off, Michael Hulse

The Love School: Personal Essays Elizabeth Knox Victoria University Press, $33.00,  ISBN 9780864735928 Paremata, the childhood novella which followed her debut novel After Z-Hour, was my own first encounter with Elizabeth Knox’s writing. The copy she gave me is inscribed…
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Posted in Essays, Literature, Non-fiction, Review

Ex cathedra, Paul Morris

A Word in Season: Reflections on Spirituality, Faith and Ethics Richard Randerson  Matai House, $19.50, ISBN 9780473136543 The Anglican Church in New Zealand, like the other major denominations, is split between its liberals and conservatives. This division is over how…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Religion, Review

Walking with McCahon, Martin Edmond

In this extract from Dark Night, Martin Edmond retraces the steps of Colin McCahon, who, on April 11 1984, went missing in Sydney’s Royal Botanical Gardens and was not found again for 36 hours. I actually made the walk from…
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Posted in Extract

The embodiment of dreams, Brendan O’Brien

The Printing of a Masterpiece  Alan Loney Black Pepper, $AUD25.95,  ISBN 9781876044589 With so much reading now done on the computer screen, Alan Loney’s new publication arrives to remind us of some of the other qualities we encounter when we…
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Posted in Art, Non-fiction

Shooting the south, Stella Ramage

White Silence: Grahame Sydney’s Antarctica Grahame Sydney  Viking, $115.00, ISBN 9780670072538 How does the sustained gaze of the landscape painter, obsessively re-imagining the sun-scorched expanses of Central Otago in a million meticulous brushstrokes, adjust to the mechanical snap of a…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Photography, Review

The decent society, John Pagani

The Bolger Years 1990-1997 Margaret Clark (ed)  Dunmore Publishing, $37.95,  ISBN 9781877399336 I have to confess to having taunted Margaret Clark in the past for her incuriosity. A few years ago she demanded in a newspaper answers and explanations from…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review

Poem – Peter Bland

The Gift   You love the new land truly you love it you pile up year upon year until belonging happens and before you know it the old land drifts into myth which you visit disguised as a child               the…
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Posted in Poem
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