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Making conversation, Michele A’Court

Past Caring? Women, Work And Emotion
Barbara Brookes, Jane McCabe and Angela Wanhalla
Otago University Press, $40.00,
ISBN 9781988531342

Still Counting: Wellbeing, Women’s Work And Policy-making
Marilyn Waring
BWB Texts, $15.00,
ISBN 9781988545530

A few days ago at a book launch (I had written the foreword) a young man who also works in the comedy industry asked what I had been up to so far this year. Not wanting to ruin his party buzz with the real answer, I shrugged a bit and said, “Oh, you know, just the usual bits and pieces.” He smiled sympathetically, muttered something about how nice it must be to take a break – code in our business for, “Shit, sorry you can’t find work” – and wandered off to find someone more full of news to talk to. I slipped off to the bathroom to have a cry before presenting myself once again at the open bar.

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Posted in Essays, Gender, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Making women visible, Katie Pickles

A History of New Zealand Women
Barbara Brookes
Bridget Williams Books, $70.00,
ISBN 9780908321452

Locating women in history is difficult. New Zealand women are present through the occasional mention in books, official records and newspaper stories but, because they were not considered the stuff of proper historical knowledge, capturing their substance poses many challenges. Their lives, work and thoughts were deemed of secondary importance to men’s, with only a few famous women being known by name. Women’s many and varied contributions were underplayed at the time and through the years, with significant traces of them only remaining in oral traditions passed down through the generations.

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Posted in Gender, History, Non-fiction, Review

Southern woman, Anne Else

Sites of Gender: Women, men and modernity in Southern Dunedin, 1890-1939 ed Barbara Brookes, Annabel Cooper, and Robin Law Auckland University Press, $45.00, ISBN 1869403010 More than half the women of south Dunedin – over twice the proportion for New

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NZ domestic, Lois Daish

At Home in New Zealand: Houses History People  ed Barbara Brookes Bridget Williams Books, $49.95, ISBN 1877242047 Dave the dishwasher, who had recently moved to Wellington from a small town, was drying cutlery behind the counter of a café I

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Challenged and challenging, Margaret Tennant

Politics in the Playground Helen May Bridget Williams Books with the New Zealand Council for Educational Research, $39.95, ISBN 1877242187 “Unfortunate Folk”: Essays on Mental Health Treatment 1863-1992 ed Barbara Brookes and Jane Thomson Otago University Press, $39.95, ISBN 187727609X New

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Posted in Education, Health, History, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Making women’s past accessible, Barbara Brookes

Standing in the Sunshine: A history of New Zealand Women Since They Won the Vote Sandra Coney, Penguin Books, $59.95 Women’s history, once a marginal pursuit and still not entirely integrated into the academy, is popular. Each year, and particularly

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Variety, uniqueness and eccentricity, Bronwyn Labrum

Women in History 2 Barbara Brookes, Charlotte Macdonald, and Margaret Tennant (eds), Bridget Williams Books, $34.95   Mid-way through women’s suffrage centenary year, the distinctly double‑edged nature of the whole business is becoming increasingly apparent. On the one hand women

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Posted in Gender, History, Non-fiction, Review
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