Blog Archives

“Aha – data reduction!” James Brown

James Brown interviews Bill Manhire James Brown (JB): Accessible but elusive. A lot of people seem to like your poetry, but find it difficult. How conscious are you, when you write, of an audience? In other words, do you ever…
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Posted in Comment

The age of ignorance, Sue McCauley

A Dangerous Vine Barbara Ewing Penguin, $29.95, ISBN 0 316 64691 1 In expatriate innocence Barbara Ewing has done what Pakeha writers in this country have learnt they must not do. A novel about race relations, full of colourful Maori…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Sidelong reflections, Norman Bilbrough

All Done With Mirrors Russell Haley Hazard Press, $24.95, ISBN 1 877161 68 3 This is the sort of novel you could search through – in vain – for a narrative skeleton: the firm coat-hanger from which the story is…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

“The muddled dailiness of things”, Stuart Murray

Doubtful Sounds: Essays and Interviews Bill Manhire Victoria University Press, $34.95, ISBN 0 86473 370 4 The Canadian poet Douglas Barbour once wrote that Bill Manhire’s poetry displays a “duplicitous unwillingness to guarantee anything”, a feature he felt to be…
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Posted in Essays, Literature

Derrida Downunder, Michael Peters

I’m an unabashed Francophile when it comes to philosophy. I remember reading Sartre’s Words as a fifth-former, sitting in a Wellington coffee bar when coffee bars first became fashionable. Last year I attended a conference entitled The End of Postmodernism?…
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Posted in Comment

Our very own grande dame, Ginette MacDonald

Davina: An Acting Life Davina Whitehouse Reed, $34.95, ISBN 0 7900 0706 1 That much bandied-about word “Icon” is used rather too often in New Zealand to deify anyone who has stuck their head over the punga pallisade, who in…
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Posted in Autobiography, Non-fiction, Review

Collier reclaimed, Jane Clendon

Edith Collier: Her Life and Work 1885-1964 Joanne Drayton, Canterbury University Press, $29.95, ISBN 0 908812 90 6 Edith Collier left New Zealand in 1913 in order to study art in London. (Ironically, she arrived there just in time to…
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Posted in Art, Biography, History, Non-fiction, Review

Erebus in the frame, Lydia Wevers

Erebus: a poem Bill Sewell Hazard Press, $21.95, ISBN 1 877161 46 2 Is Erebus one of those events like Gallipoli, a bloodied trench, an oil stain in the white wastes of our forgetting? Like most people I remember where…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

Printer’s ink in the veins, Vincent O’Sullivan

Eyewitness: A Memoir of Europe in the 1930s Geoffrey Cox University of Otago Press, $39.95, ISBN 1 877133 70 1 Sir Geoffrey Cox turns 91 this year, the last of that remarkable roll-call of New Zealanders whose only way out…
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Posted in Autobiography, Non-fiction, Review

Flagship for conservation, Neville Peat

Kapiti Chris Maclean Whitcombe Press, $49.95, ISBN 0 473 06166 X A hilly chip off the old block, Kapiti Island lies alluringly close to the mainland – a Kapiti Coast landmark with a reputation considerably out of proportion to its…
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Posted in History, Natural History, Non-fiction, Review
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