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Is the book launch dead? Graeme Lay

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Auckland novelist Graeme Lay muses upon book launches past, present and future.

There was a time when a book, upon publication, had to be launched. The venue was usually a much-loved bookshop, chosen in the hope that love for the shop would rub off on the book being launched. Favourite venues were Unity Books in Wellington and Auckland, Time Out in Mount Eden, and Paradox Books in Devonport. Whitcoulls rarely featured.

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Worlds old and new, Nicholas Reid

Purgatory
Rosetta Allan
Penguin, $30.00
ISBN 9780143571025

James Cook’s New World
Graeme Lay
Fourth Estate, $37.00
ISBN 9781775540410

There’s one current phenomenon in New Zealand literature that I’m watching with great interest. It’s the fact that, with a few honourable exceptions (Hamish Clayton’s Wulf, Owen Marshall’s The Larnachs, and the historical reconstructions of Peter Wells), all the best New Zealand historical novels are now being written by women – Paula Morris’s Rangatira, Charlotte Randall’s Hokitika Town and The Bright Side of My Condition, Sarah Quigley’s The Conductor, Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries and (with minor misgivings) Tina Makereti’s Where the Rēkohu Bone Sings.

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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Knowing their stuff, Anna Rogers

The Phoenix Song John Sinclair Victoria University Press, $38.00, ISBN 9780864738257 The Secret Life of James Cook: A Novel Graeme Lay HarperCollins, $37.00, ISBN 9781775540120 “It takes a great deal of history,” wrote Henry James in 1879, “to produce a

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Another country, Catharina van Bohemen

Alice and Luigi Graeme Lay David Ling, $29.99, ISBN 1877378070 In Touch with Grace Jenny Pattrick Black Swan, $27.99, ISBN 1869417674 As we grow older,  we look over our shoulders. We want to see where we came from, whether our

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A million miles from Palmerston North, Linley Boniface

The Miss Tutti Frutti Contest: Travel Tales of the South Pacific Graeme Lay Awa Press, $29.95, ISBN 0958250901 Liars and Lovers: A Travel Memoir Diane Brown Vintage, $26.95, ISBN 1869416147 As a child, I used to read adventure stories featuring

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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Speaking frankly of Frank and James K, Stevan Eldred-Grigg

An Affair of the Heart: A Celebration of Frank Sargeson’s Centenary ed Graeme Lay and Stephen Stratford Cape Catley, $49.99, ISBN 0908561938 O Jerusalem – James K Baxter: An Intimate Memoir Mike Minehan Hazard Press, $24.95, ISBN 1877270385 Two icons

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Posted in Essays, Literature, Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Love and other animals, Susan Paris

Return to One Foot Island  Graeme Lay Penguin, $18.95, ISBN 0141313706 Peri Penelope Todd Longacre, $14.95, ISBN 1877135658 Owl  Joanna Orwin Longacre, $16.95, ISBN 1877135585 50 Short Short Stories by Young New Zealanders  ed Graeme Lay Tandem Press, $19.95, ISBN

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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review, Short stories, Young adults

“Bugger the dragonflies”, Bernard Carpinter

Shirker Chad Taylor Allen & Unwin, $35, ISBN 0862419026 A defenestration (nice word, eh?) makes an arresting beginning to Chad Taylor’s third novel. Especially as the defenestree is the narrator. Just how Ellerslie Penrose came to be flying out of

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Babes and Biggles, Louise Wrightson

Spectacular Babies ed Bill Manhire HarperCollins, $24.95, ISBN 1869503775 Boys’ Own Stories: Short Stories by New Zealand Men ed Graeme Lay Tandem Press, $24.95, ISBN 1877178691 Five years ago, I remember jumping up and down in frustration in front of

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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review, Short stories

Apocalypse Soon, David Hill

Power and Chaos Paula Boock Random House, $14.95, ISBN 1869414357 The Wave Rider Graeme Lay Penguin, $15.95, ISBN 014139028X Red Cliff Bernard Beckett Longacre, $14.95, ISBN 1877135429 A Whistle from the Blunder Diana Noonan Longacre, $14.95, ISBN 1877135402   About

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Posted in Children, Fiction, Literature, Review, Young adults
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