Blog Archives

What’s been lost, Louise O’Brien

The Silence Beyond: Selected Writings Michael King (introduction by Rachael King) Penguin, $42.00, ISBN 9780143565567   The Passionless People Revisited Gordon McLauchlan David Bateman, $30.00, ISBN 9781869537906   The Silence Beyond is a new and posthumous selection of rare and…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

Can Auckland be saved? Redmer Yska

The Life and Times of Auckland  Gordon McLauchlan Penguin Books, $40.00, ISBN 9780143007500 Urban Village: The Story of Ponsonby, Freemans Bay and St Mary’s Bay  Jenny Carlyon and Diana Morrow Random House, $70.00, ISBN 9781869418373 New Local Government Minister Rodney…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

Striving for consensus, Gordon McLauchlan

Kiwi Keith: A Biography of Keith Holyoake  Barry Gustafson  Auckland University Press, $60.00,  ISBN 9781869404000 I first met Keith Holyoake in 1943 in Pahiatua where my father was editor of the North Wairarapa Herald. In those days, even small country…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction

Lives of nouns and adjectives, Gordon McLauchlan

A Fish in the Swim of the World  Ben Brown Longacre, $34.99, ISBN 1877361410 Family Silver  Richard Shallcrass Victoria University Press, $29.95, ISBN 0864735332 Something for the Birds  Jacqueline Fahey Auckland University Press, $39.99, ISBN 186940355X Terra Incognito  Douglas Wright…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Word-drunk in Auckland, Gordon McLauchlan

Auckland Writers and Readers Festival 2006 The announcement that The Sea had won last year’s Man Booker prize came through while I was reading it, and I have to confess I was perplexed and then annoyed – both by the…
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Posted in Opinion

An end to cultural thumb-sucking, Gordon McLauchlan

Great New Zealand Argument: Ideas About Ourselves ed Russell Brown Activity Press, $29.95, ISBN 95826340X For decades after 1930, a year seldom passed without a book or long magazine article by a New Zealander or a visiting scholar examining New…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Telling it like it was (perhaps), David Hill

A Life’s Sentences Gordon McLauchlan Penguin, $39.95, ISBN 0143019163 Sorry, I’m a Stranger Here Myself Peter Bland Vintage, $29.95, ISBN 1869416325 Both these books call themselves/are called memoirs. I’ve never liked the word; I find a back-of-hand-to-brow affectation in it.…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Lifting the lid of the national box, Stevan Eldred-Grigg

The Penguin History of New Zealand Michael King Penguin, $29.95, ISBN 0143018671 A Short History of New Zealand Gordon McLauchlan Penguin, $29.95, ISBN 0143019082 One day at the start of the 21st century, happening to be staying in a hotel…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

Reviewing the reviewers, Gordon McLauchlan

At the start of the first television interview following publication of my A Short History of New Zealand, I was asked why I thought I was qualified to write a history. I replied with something like: because I’m a writer…
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Posted in Comment

Editorial — Issue 61

Copycat crime A few decades ago a newspaper ran in full without permission a crucial chapter of an enthusiastically awaited political book on the eve of its publication. I remember this for the copyright dispute it provoked more than for…
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Posted in Editorial
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