Blog Archives

A gift worth unwrapping, John Dickson

The Falling: A Memoir Alan Loney Auckland University Press, $29.95, ISBN 1869402502 The simplest way to begin unwrapping the gift of this book is to start with the title: The Falling: A Memoir.  Notice the first word, the definite article:…
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Posted in Autobiography, Non-fiction, Review

Independence and after, Colin James

“Nothing is more important to a country,” one-time Australian Treasurer and Prime Minister Paul Keating told the Knowledge Wave conference in August, “than the way it thinks about itself.” Right now, this country, barely a nation, thinks it is small,…
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Posted in Comment

More show than substance, Jenny Pattrick

The Arts & Crafts Movement in New Zealand 1870-1940 Ann Calhoun Auckland University Press, $89.95, ISBN 1869402294 This is a large and handsome art book. Its hardcover, square format, copious illustrations and intelligent design suggest an honoured place on the…
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Posted in Art, History, Non-fiction, Review

Better than cure, Robert Beaglehole

Health and Public Policy in New Zealand  ed Peter Davis and Toni Ashton Oxford University Press, $55.00, ISBN 0195584171 This thoughtful and stimulating book, edited by two of New Zealand’s foremost scholars of health policy, deserves a wide audience both…
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Posted in Health, Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review

Babes and Biggles, Louise Wrightson

Spectacular Babies ed Bill Manhire HarperCollins, $24.95, ISBN 1869503775 Boys’ Own Stories: Short Stories by New Zealand Men ed Graeme Lay Tandem Press, $24.95, ISBN 1877178691 Five years ago, I remember jumping up and down in frustration in front of…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review, Short stories

Poems in the classroom, Jo Kahl

Essential New Zealand Poems ed Lauris Edmond and Bill Sewell Godwit, $29.95, ISBN 1869620879 Why is it that fictional teachers are always teachers of English? How many times do you see on television or at the movies teachers attempting to…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

Poem — Janet Charman

snowing down south   warm breath breathed out of our bodies into the overnight air and condensed to an ice crust on the glass with a sodden mitten tip push plates of glitter lace across the surface to make an…
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Posted in Poem

Editorial — Issue 50

No, not sour grapes   People will always bitch about literary awards, and  literary awards will always seem inherently unfair. This year’s Montana New Zealand Book Awards will have thrown up their share of sniping, backbiting and dis-appointed egos. Some…
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Posted in Editorial

Controlled randomness, Kai Jensen

Shebang: Collected Poems 1980-2000  David Howard Steele Roberts, $24.95, ISBN 1877228591 I associate volumes of Collected Poems with poetic fame –  long sequence of small books, most now out of print, requiring a full collection to satisfy the demands of…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

Tough grace, Simone Drichel

Dogside Story Patricia Grace Penguin, $34.95, ISBN 0141004193 In her long career as a writer of both novels and short fiction, Patricia Grace has shown remarkable consistency in her publishing pattern: invariably, the publication of a collection of short stories…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review
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