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The ongoing stream of history, Ranginui Walker

The People of Many Peaks, 1769-1869 Claudia Orange (ed), Bridget Williams Books and Department of Internal Affairs, Wellington, 1991, $35.00 This book contains the biographies of 161 notable Maori leaders between 1769 and 1869 who appear in the first volume…
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Posted in Biography, Māori, Non-fiction, Review

Forging a political language, Tony Simpson

In his 1946 essay ‘Politics and the English Language’ George Orwell remarks that ‘one ought to recognise that the present political chaos is connected with the decay of language and that one can probably bring about some improvement by starting…
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Posted in Comment

Concentrated energy and irreverence, Diane Moir

Grievous Bodily Craig Harrison, Penguin Books, Auckland, 1991, $24.95 Grievous Bodily, subtitled A Very Funny Novel, has been written with the film in mind. Not any old film, but a very funny film with enough references, cross-references and sight and…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Poem — Hone Tuwhare

Shadow   Implicit above all and as pervasive as the Duende of Federico Garcia Lorca is the sense that I must tread the liveliest and loneliest of measures on my way to Rarohenga cocking a snook at the shadow of…
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Posted in Poem

An epic tale of inheritance, Charlotte MacDonald

The Hanging Sky Shirley Corlett, Mallinson Rendel, Wellington, 1990, $55 (Paper $39.95) Beginning when ‘Man’ (this is no tale of humankind) first stepped upon the land ‘that had been part of Gondwanaland’ and ending with the present, The Hanging Sky…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

The Ninth Floor, Margaret Hayward

The Ninth Floor – Inside the Prime Minister’s Office Harvey McQueen Penguin Books, Auckland, 1991, $24.95 The first few chapters of The Ninth Floor amazed me. I’m used to books about politics that hedge their bets. If they say something…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review

The distinctiveness of Phillip Mann: a survey, Van Iken

Wulfsyarn: A mosaic Phillip Mann, Gollancz, London, 1990, $45.95 Phillip Mann is contemporary New Zealand science fiction. The Chairperson of the Department of Theatre and Film at Victoria University, he has published five science fiction novels in less than ten…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

The warp and woof of Wellington, J M Thomson

The Making of Wellington 1800-1914 David Hamer and Roberta Nicholls (eds) Victoria University Press, Wellington, 1990, $39.95 Colonial Capital, Wellington 1865-1910 Terence Hodgson Random Century, Auckland, 1990, $34.95 A study of the evolution of a city provides an excellent opportunity…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

Brittle and febrile images, Anne French

Motu Tapu: Stories of the South Pacific Graeme Lay, Polynesian Press, Auckland. 1990, $19.95 A Network of Dissolving Threads Richard von Sturmer, Auckland University Press, 1991, $19.95 Motu Tapu is described as a collection of ‘stories of the South Pacific’,…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review, Short stories

The law and you: three valuable guides, Nicky Darlow

Adoption, Guide to Law and Practice Robert Ludbrook Government Printer, Wellington, 1990, $16.95 Human Rights Robert Ludbrook Government Printer, Wellington. 1990, $12.95 Your Small Business John Pettigrew Government Printer, Wellington, 1990, $12.95 Adoption has been likened to a legal conjuring…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review, Sociology
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