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Reeling them in Jim Greeks

Spinning A Line: New Zealand Writing About Fishing ed Owen Marshall Vintage, $29.95, ISBN 1869414675 In the kaleidoscope of influences and events that has made me whatever I am today, fishing has a lot to answer for. Without doubt, it

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Posted in Non-fiction, Review and Sport

Editorial — Issue 54

Largesse for literature Over the last four-and-a-half years, New Zealand Books has kept a watching brief on the Government’s performance vis-à-vis the Arts. After Jenny Shipley became Prime Minister in 1997, we expressed the rather vain hope that she would

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Posted in Editorial

Sacred and secular, Lloyd Geering

Spirit in a Strange Land: A Selection of New Zealand Spiritual Verse ed Paul Morris, Harry Ricketts & Mike Grimshaw Godwit, $39.95, ISBN 1869620976 The editors are to be warmly commended for taking the initiative in assembling this first anthology of New

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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Religion and Review

Letters — Issue 54

The irrelevance of gender Vivienne Jepsen’s review of my novella Heart of the  Volcano in the June issue reeks of neo-moral demolition, but its obsolete, 1980s-style, aggressive feminism reveals a clear inability to read a text. As a piece of

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Posted in Letters

Young Jim, W H Oliver

Spark to a Waiting Fuse: James K Baxter’s correspondence with Noel Ginn 1942-1946 ed Paul Millar Victoria University Press, $49.95, ISBN 086473400X I began this book thinking that a shorter one might have been enough for a smallish collection of

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Posted in Letters, Literature, Poetry and Review

Poem — Erick Brenstrum

Choices   Anna thinks I should shave my chest Alex thinks not she likes it the way it is a touch of Cro-Magnon of cave bears and skins mammoths and spears tundra and the long arctic night. Anna is six

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Posted in Poem

The new restlessness, Sarah Quigley

Settler Dreaming Bernadette Hall Victoria University Press, $24.95, ISBN 0864734247 Porcelain Diana Bridge Auckland University Press, $19.95, ISBN 1869402642 The death of Alan Curnow last year seemed to call for some kind of reassessment of our national poetry, and some

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Posted in Literature, Poetry and Review

The old frisson Elizabeth Caffin

Billie’s Kiss Elizabeth Knox Victoria University Press, $29.95, ISBN 0864734263 Having begun in some reasonably recognisable New Zealand locations, Elizabeth Knox, novelist, may, we now know, take off and land almost anywhere. What is striking about all her work is

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Posted in Fiction, Literature and Review

Rugby and Fame, Barry Emslie

The appositely titled The Book of Fame by Lloyd Jones is a triking expression of how much the significance of rugby has changed. Once our fanaticism was a touch bloody-minded. We competed as masters, and our pride was aggressively masculine.

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Posted in Comment

Prophesy and be damned! Alan Horsman

Anno Domini 2000 or Woman’s Destiny Julius Vogel (ed Roger Robinson) Exisle Publishing, $29.95, ISBN 0908988168 “There is no such thing as a load of old codswallop … the codswallop is always freshly made,” or at least it needs to

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Posted in Fiction, Literature and Review
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