Blog Archives

Beach, bush and brews, Gavin McLean

A Guide to the New Zealand Seashore Dave Gunson, VikingPacific, $19.95 If you can’t be bothered carrying all your seabird, rock pool fish and native plants books down to the beach with you, this book will be a fair substitute.…
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Posted in Natural History, Non-fiction, Review

Superwoman/Wonderwoman, Marivee McMath

Superwoman: Where are You? Social Policy and Women’s Experience C Briar, R Munford and M Nash (eds), Dunmore Press, $39.95 Superwoman: Where are You? is a catchy title. Since Superwoman is the female counterpart of Superman, created both after and…
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Posted in Gender, Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review

Collection of writings a ‘veritable smorgasbord’, Maureen Molloy

The Vote, the Pill and the Demon Drink: A History of Feminist Writing in New Zealand Charlotte Macdonald, Victoria University Press, $49.95 Charlotte Macdonald’s compilation of original New Zealand writings by and about women’s rights is a most welcome addition…
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Posted in Essays, Gender, History, Non-fiction, Review

He waka kua eke, Juliet Raven

Deep River Talk: Collected Poems Hone Tuwhare, Godwit, $49.95 hbk, $29.95 pbk Hone Tuwhare’s Collected Poems, drawn from eight previous volumes of poetry, spans thirty years of writing. This in itself represents a problem for the reviewer. There is something…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

‘I have been ill for 200 years’, Jane Stafford

The Collected Letters of Katherine Mansfield: Volume 3, 1919‑1920 Vincent O’Sullivan and Margaret Scott (eds), Clarendon Press, $110.95 It is only in fiction that illness makes people saintly. In real life, invalids are cantankerous, depressive and manipulative. To be close…
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Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Letters, Literature, Non-fiction, Review

Writing herstory, Margaret Lovell-Smith

Women’s History: A Short Guide to Researching and Writing Women’s History in New Zealand Bronwyn Labrum, Bridget Williams Books/ Historical Branch, Department of Internal Affairs, $17.95 Women of Spirit Barbara Sampson, The Salvation Army, $9.95 The Ladies Are At It…
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Posted in Gender, History, Non-fiction, 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

Transforming the Beehive? Naomi Diachuk and Brenda Cutress

Naomi Diachuk’s and Brenda Cutress’s reviews portray Parliament as an institution that is reluctant to change.   Naomi Diachuk Making Policy, Not Tea: Women in Parliament Arthur Baysting, Dyan Campbell and Margaret Dagg (eds), Oxford University Press, $29.95 ‘Walking into…
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Posted in Gender, History, Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review

Letters — Issue 10

Review gives too much away I was grateful I had read Maurice Gee’s Going West before I read Elizabeth Smither’s review. One of the many fine things about the novel was Gee’s skilful withholding of major events, but most of…
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Posted in Letters

Language listening to itself, Peter Crisp

The Drummer Ian Wedde, Auckland University Press, $18.95 The poem is a place where language listens to itself. Often it can be an occasion for acute soundings, where nods and glances tug at every cadence. Poetry today can be edgy…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review
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