Blog Archives

The mess we’re in, Anne Kennedy

Lifting Damien Wilkins Victoria University Press, $30.00, ISBN 9781776561025 In the opening scene of Lifting, Amy, a department store detective, is pursuing a “Person of Interest” (POI) – a ubi-quitous, parka-wearing woman who is probably about to nick the wallets…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature

Walking in the real world, Owen Marshall

Dad Art   Damien Wilkins Victoria University Press, $30.00, ISBN 9781776560561 Acoustic engineer Michael Stirling is divorced, in contact through a dating site with apparently grieving Chrissie, tending a father in a dementia unit, living in Wellington’s Sanctum Apartments having lost…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Thomas Hardy’s heart, Roger Robinson

Max Gate Damien Wilkins Victoria University Press, $30.00, ISBN 9780864738998 Thomas Hardy often wrote about death’s little ironies. There’s a poem in the voice of a dead and forgotten woman whose dog, who has also forgotten her, is burying his…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Always something to behave about, Damien Wilkins

Damien Wilkins pays tribute to Barbara Anderson (1926-2013).   With her cultured Anglo voice (boarding school in New Zealand and years as a naval wife in England), her title (she was Lady Anderson following Neil’s knighthood), her height, elegance, beads,…
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Character testing, Damien Wilkins

Novelist Damien Wilkins on the ups and downs of reviewing other writers. The first book review I wrote was for the New Zealand Listener in 1986. It was of Russell Haley’s novel The Settlement. I’d just spent two years in…
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Life cycles, Murray Bramwell

  Somebody Loves Us All Damien Wilkins Victoria University Press, $38.00, ISBN 9780864736161 The title of Damien Wilkins’ sixth novel, Somebody Loves Us All, comes from a line by the American poet Elizabeth Bishop. The poem is called “Filling Station”…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Best of both worlds, Chris Else

The Six Pack Two  New Zealand Book Month with Whitireia Publishing, $6.00, ISBN  9781877192326 For Everyone Concerned  Damien Wilkins  Victoria University Press, $30.00,  ISBN 9780864735591 Coming Up Roses  Sarah Laing  Vintage, $27.99, ISBN 9781869419202  Luminous  Alice Tawhai  Huia Press, $35.00,…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review, Short stories

Author as dinner companion, Sue McCauley

The Cowboy Dog Nigel Cox Victoria University Press, $29.95, ISBN 0864735448 The Fainter Damien Wilkins Victoria University Press, $29.95, ISBN 0864735308 In a way the titles say it all. It’s as if, in naming these novels (Cox’s sixth, Wilkins’ fifth),…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Nigel Cox, Damien Wilkins

Nigel Cox (1951-2006) We pay tribute to the novelist’s life and work with this 2004 Tarzan Presley launch speech by his friend and fellow-novelist Damien Wilkins. Tarzan Presley, as the title tells us, is a topical story about an unusual…
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Rules of the game, Chris Else

Great Sporting Moments  ed Damien Wilkins Victoria University Press, $29.95, ISBN 0864735154 Great Sporting Moments tempted me to do the unthinkable – review a book without actually reading it. This was not because I thought the contents would be bad…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review, Short stories
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