Blog Archives

Plotting outside the rules, Kim Worthington

The Bright Side of my Condition Charlotte Randall Penguin, $30.00, ISBN 9780143570660 Charlotte Randall’s many strengths don’t, in general, extend to the provision of compelling plots. Tellingly, in an interview, she states, “I don’t really believe in ‘stories’ ”, and…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Reconsidering a juvenile critique, Jock Phillips

“I think I am becoming a New Zealander”: Letters of J C Beaglehole Tim Beaglehole (ed) Victoria University Press, $80.00, ISBN 9780864739025 For someone such as myself, this is an engrossing book. I had met J C Beaglehole (his preferred…
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Posted in Letters, Non-fiction, Review

Lordania revisited, Laurie Atkinson

Three Plays  Robert Lord (Phillip Mann ed) Playmarket, $30.00, ISBN 9780908607464 The playwright Robert Lord died in Dunedin on January 7th, 1992. His last play, Joyful and Triumphant, was premiered seven weeks later at Circa Theatre on February 20th as…
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Posted in Literature, Plays, Review

Mishmash history, Nepia Mahuika

Beyond Betrayal, Trouble in the Promised Land – Restoring the Mission to Maori Keith Newman Penguin, $45.00, ISBN 9780143570516 Most Maori I know have a different view of the past to the nation-building rhetoric that inhabits the majority of mainstream…
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Posted in History, Māori, Non-fiction, Review

National theatrics, John Callen

Playmarket 40: 40 Years of Playwriting in New Zealand Laurie Atkinson (ed) Playmarket, $40.00, ISBN 9780908607457 Ask an actor or director to speak at a function or write something about theatre, and there’s a good chance they’ll presume it’s themselves…
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Posted in History, Literature, Plays, Review

New seeds for old, Kathryn Walls

The Mijo Tree Janet Frame (Deidre Copeland illus) Penguin, $25.00, ISBN 9780143569428 A Book is a Book Jenny Bornholdt (Sarah Wilkins illus) Gecko Press, $25.00, ISBN 9781877579929 Dunger Joy Cowley Gecko Press, $20.00, ISBN 9781977579462 Janet Frame sent the typescript…
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Posted in Children, Fiction, Literature, Review

Human rights and public fright, Anne Opie

The Quiet War on Asylum Tracey Barnett Bridget Williams Books, $5.00, ISBN 9781927131909 (EPUB), 9781927131916 (KINDLE), 9781927277983 (PDF) The Punitive Society: Falling Crime and Rising Imprisonment in New Zealand  John Pratt Bridget Williams Books, $5.00, ISBN 9781927277270 (EPUB), 9781927277287 (KINDLE),…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review

Constant uncertainty, Dougal McNeill

Journals 1938-1945 Charles Brasch Margaret Scott (transcriber), Andrew Parsloe (annotator) Otago University Press, $60.00, ISBN 9781877372841 Enduring Legacy, the Hocken Library’s 2003 exhibition marking the release of Charles Brasch’s papers from their embargo, was subtitled “patron, poet and collector”. Brasch…
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Posted in Essays, Non-fiction, Poetry, Review

Compelling mental health, Charles Hornabrook

New Zealand’s Mental Health Act in Practice John Dawson and Kris Gledhill (eds) Victoria University Press, $50.00, ISBN 9780864739049 This book, released to coincide with the 21st birthday of the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act of 1992 (MHCAT…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review

Finding the poetry, Michael Hulse

Gleam  Sarah Broom Auckland University Press, $25.00, ISBN 9781869407704 The Baker’s Thumbprint Paula Green Seraph Press, $25.00, ISBN 9780473236311 Family Songbook John Newton Victoria University Press, $25.00, ISBN 9780864738394 Enough Louise Wallace Victoria University Press, $25.00, ISBN 9780864739131 The sad…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review
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