Blog Archives

At a crossroads, Max Harris

Unquiet Time: Aotearoa/New Zealand in a Fast-changing World Colin James Fraser Books, $39.50, ISBN 9780994136015 Last year, Colin James published his final weekly column with the Otago Daily Times, after over 50 years of work as a journalist. In a…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Darkening and deepening, Catherine Robertson

Through the Lonesome Dark Paddy Richardson Upstart Press, $35.00, ISBN 9781927262986 Paddy Richardson takes a risk with her latest novel. By setting it in Blackball, a mining town on the West Coast in the early 1900s, she raises expectations of…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Biting wit, with an undertow of melancholy, Jim Mora

Drawn Out: A Seriously Funny Memoir Tom Scott Allen and Unwin, $45.00, ISBN 9781877505911   We all store trivial moments that hang around in the hippocampus for some sort of reason. I remember the late Kenny Everett on Capitol Radio…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Posthumous vindication, David V Williams

After the Treaty: The Settler State, Race Relations and Power in Colonial New Zealand Brad Patterson, Richard S Hill and Kathryn Patterson (eds) Steele Roberts, $40.00, ISBN 9780947493158 There was a time in New Zealand when university historians took umbrage…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

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…
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Posted in History, Māori, Non-fiction

Grudging nationalist, Mark Williams

Charles Brasch: Journals 1945-1957 Peter Simpson (ed) Otago University Press, $60.00, ISBN 9781927322284 I approached this book rather in the spirit of someone visiting a civic monument to a figure august and admired, but obscurely known. In the late 1980s,…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Poem – Peter Olds

‘The Clear’: Prospect Park to Charles Brasch Here, I can own you. Here, on this seat they’ve placed in your honour, there’s nobody to move me on. There’s nobody to tell me my poems are good or bad. There’s only…
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Posted in Poem

The dangers of absolutism, John Larkindale

Balancing Acts: Reflections of a New Zealand Diplomat Gerald McGhie Dunmore, $35.00 ISBN 978927212318 Friends and relations often suggest to diplomats following their retirement that they should write a book about their experiences. Not so, in my view; the world…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

An account of trauma, Michael Hulse

Allen Curnow: Collected Poems Elizabeth Caffin and Terry Sturm (eds) Auckland University Press, $60.00, ISBN 9781869408510 Allen Curnow’s poetry is a transcript of trauma. “Morning by morning incorruption / Puts on corruption”: this most fundamental of thoughts, borne in upon…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

Poem – Allen Curnow

A Raised Voice Let it be Sunday and the alp-high summer gale gusting to fifty miles. Windmills groan in disbelief, the giant in the pulpit enjoys his own credible scale, stands twelve feet ‘clothed in fine linen’ visibly white from…
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Posted in Poem
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