Blog Archives

A major Australasian critic, Charles Ferrall

Patrick White Mark Williams, Macmillan, 1993, $45.95 During the early 1960s Patrick White wrote an admiring letter to Janet Frame; she replied 22 years later. The Tasman is often wider than it looks, but this belies some more direct correspondences…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Collecting and classifying, Charlotte Macdonald

The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography Volume Two 1870‑1900, Bridget Williams Books/ Department of Internal Affairs, $130.00 Te Timatanga ‑ Tatau Tatau: Early Stories from Founding Members of the Maori Women’s Welfare League, Maori Women’s Welfare League/ Bridget Williams Books,…
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Posted in Biography, History, Māori, Non-fiction, Review

Arnoldian seriousness, too, William Renwick

Gadfly: The Life and Times of James Shelley Ian Carter, Auckland University Press, $39.95 Many who know him thought that Professor James Shelley was the most unforgettable man they had ever known. Gwen Somerset recalled him as a comet lighting…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Amidst the bric-à-brac, Harvey McQueen

Writing a New Country:  A collection of essays presented to E H McCormick in his 88th year James Ross, Linda Gill and Stuart McRae (eds), privately published, James Ross, 495 Richmond Rd, Grey Lynn, Auckland Of Pavlova, Poetry and Paradigms:…
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Posted in Essays, Literature, Review

Rather like New Zealanders, Lauris Edmond

What makes literary festivals so popular? Are writers themselves fascinating to meet in the flesh, or is it the lure of a spectator sport for intellectuals, conferring a greater cachet than rugby or baseball and just as exciting? The Vancouver…
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Posted in Comment

Tom Larkin: A special time and special people

Undiplomatic Dialogue: Letters between Carl Berendsen and Alister McIntosh, 1943-52 Ian McGibbon (ed), Auckland University Press in Association with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Historical Branch of the Department of Internal Affairs, $29.95 When Sir Carl…
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Posted in Lecture, Non-fiction, Review

Careful selection, definite intent, Angela Sears

Palmers Garden Show Guide to Gardening in New Zealand Random House, $39.95 Garden Style in New Zealand Rod Barnett, Random House, $49.95 Perennial Gardening in New Zealand Christine Dann and Tony Wyber, Bridget Williams Books, $49.95 Plants and gardens are…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Review

Prescription or poison, Brian Easton

New Zealand Can be Different and Better Wolfgang Rosenberg, New Zealand Monthly Review Society Those who wish to challenge Wolfgang Rosenberg’s policy prescriptions must confront the outstanding performance of the New Zealand economy in the first part of the postwar…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review

Who buys? Nigel Cox

Mountains of the South John Gordon and John Rundle, Random Century, $49.95 There was a time when big “glossies” were of real significance to the book trade. Large-format pictorials with high production values which showed beautiful New Zealand at its…
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Posted in Art, Non-fiction, Review

Finishing us off, Margaret Clark

Unfinished Business Roger Douglas, Random House, $29.95 The Tragedy of the Market Mike O’Brien and Chris Wilkes, Dunmore Publishing, $27.95 I remember the first time I set eyes on David Lange. The then recently elected member for Mangere had long,…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review
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