Blog Archives

Travels with a paintbrush, Iain Sharp

Tuhituhi: William Hodges, Cook’s Painter in the South Pacific Laurence Simmons Otago University Press, $60.00, ISBN 9781877578175   In the last decades of the 20th century, with political correctness at its zenith, you could scarcely mention the British Empire in…
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Posted in Art, History, Non-fiction, Review

Bovver boys

What they wrote A taste of contributor comments over our first 20 years   On New Zealand Books My hope is that New Zealand Books will provide a forum for frank discussion that dares to rise above the suffocating confines…
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Posted in Comment

Temporal blather, Iain Sharp

Iain Sharp raises an eyebrow at the ghosts of reviewers past. Thanks to the National Library’s splendid Papers Past website, forgotten follies are now at our fingertips. In June and early July 1909, for example, every edition of the Ashburton…
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Posted in Comment

Combing the romantic inheritance, Iain Sharp

Lives of the Poets John Newton Victoria University Press, $25.00, ISBN 9780864736284   Goya Rules Harvey McQueen HeadworX, $24.99, ISBN 9780473160401   Walls to Kick and Hills to Sing from Murray Edmond Auckland University Press, $24.99, ISBN 9781869404581   When…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

World-famous in New Zealand, Philip Temple

Heaphy Iain Sharp Auckland University Press, $64.99,  ISBN 9781869404215 The one-name title for this book confidently assumes this is someone we all know. After all, there can be only one Heaphy – Charles – because in the history of our…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Hearing the voice, James Norcliffe

The Singing Harp Iain Sharp Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop, $15.00, ISBN 1869420365 The Dwarf and the Stripper and other poems Stephen Sinclair Addenda, $19.95, ISBN 095821865X To … Bill Dacker Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop, $15.00, ISBN 1869420357 Many…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

To sleep or not to sleep, Iain Sharp

Not Her Real Name and Other Stories Emily Perkins Victoria University Press, $24.95 ISBN 084673 2891 Since I first clapped eyes on it Anna Miles’ cover design for Not Her Real Name has puzzled and intrigued me. The front cover,…
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Posted in Literature, Review, Short stories

Ironies with wry detachment, Iain Sharp

My Name is Paradiso James McNeish David Ling, $24.95 ISBN 0908990278 On the back cover of his seventh novel, there’s a head-and-shoulders photograph of James McNeish taken by his wife, Helen. The author has been caught midway through the process…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Reviled, Iain Sharp

Poor Behaviour Bill Payne Secker & Warburg, $24.95 The Duration of a Kiss Peter Wells Secker & Warburg, $24.95 I wonder what Bill Payne and Peter Wells make of each other. Simultaneous publication by Reed’s new Secker & Warburg imprint…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Iain Sharp: Beyond the pale

State Ward Alan Duff Random House, $17.95 I realise that almost everyone is bone-weary by now of the wrangling over the Faber Book of Contemporary South Pacific Stories and its shameful “Note on Absences”. All the same, I cannot resist…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review
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