Blog Archives

The short story of non-fiction, Tony Simpson

When Famous People Come to Town Damien Wilkins On Kissing Kate Camp On Longing Vincent O’Sullivan Four Winds Press, $14.95 each, ISBN 0958237506; 0958237514; 0958237530 Shortly after these little books, none much longer than 50 pages, were published in September…
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Posted in Essays, Non-fiction, Review

Rhythm and voice, R Carl Shuker interviews Damien Wilkins

R Carl Shuker interviews Damien Wilkins   R Carl Shuker (RCS): Do you remember the initial spark of Chemistry? Damien Wilkins (DW): Yes, I do. I was down in Timaru, where the novel is set. I was hanging out at…
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Posted in Comment

World-class in Timaru, Mark Williams

Chemistry Damien Wilkins Victoria University Press, $29.95, ISBN 0864734271 In a 1913 guide book, Forest and Ice, Blanche Baughan describes the Franz Josef glacier: “the grandeur of great, ordained descent, embodied here in a white stairway of the gods, magnificently…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Experts in avoidance, Emma Neale

Nineteen Widows Under Ash Damien Wilkins Victoria University Press, $29.95, ISBN 086473395X   Wilkins’ new novel, set in the United States, begins as Evelyn Herbert undertakes a road journey to her Pacific Northwest hometown. She has left her husband, and…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

From a work in progress, Damien Wilkins

Finally she found the room. Truly they’d banished him and as she pulled up a chair beside the bed and took out the patient’s file from her folder, she had the question in her head, if this man is dangerous,…
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Posted in Extract

Surprising ourselves, Lawrence Jones

Loving Ways  Maurice Gee Penguin, $29.95, ISBN 0 140 25789 6 Little Masters Damien Wilkins VUP, $24.95, ISBN 0 86473 298 8 The reader of Loving Ways will quickly recognise family resemblances to earlier Gee novels. The structure within two…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Boxing the compass, David Eggleton

How Things Are Adrienne Jansen, Harry Ricketts, J C Sturm and Meg Campbell Whitireia Publishing and Daphne Brasell Press, $21.95 ISBN 0 958351341 four Damien Wilkins, Elizabeth Knox, Bill Manhire and Emily Perkins Published by the authors, no price given,…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

Composed of small moments, Rod McGregor

The Miserables Damien Wilkins, Victoria University Press, 1993, $24.95 This, Damien Wilkins’s first novel, seems a natural extension of his earlier stories and poems. It is a bildungsroman of a very modernistic sort, tightly written, concise in scope but large…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Desperate lives, Heidi Van de Veire

The Idles Damien Wilkins, Victoria University Press, $19.95 Damien Wilkins’ first collection of poems strikes me as commentaries on snapshots, arranged in three photo albums. The first section has pictures of a father in ill-fitting togs who (God knows why…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

The self-loathing of a Stead novel, Damien Wilkins

The End of the Century at the End of the World C K Stead, Harvill/ HarperCollins, $39.95 C K Stead has always suffered from a surfeit of lucidity. This may seem like a wrong-headed thing to say. Surely those values…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review
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