Blog Archives

Irony and automata, Bill Sewell

Husk Chris Price Auckland University Press, $21.95, ISBN 1869402669 I suppose it’s as true to say that you shouldn’t judge a book by its title as by its cover. Certainly, when it comes to some otherwise admirable collections of New

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Posted in Literature, Poetry and Review

Rescue mission, Nicholas Reid

A Fair and Just Solution – a History of the Integration of Private Schools in New Zealand  Rory Sweetman Dunmore Press, $34.95, ISBN 0864694148 Once upon a time there were, theoretically, two school systems in New Zealand. There were state

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Posted in Education, Non-fiction and Review

Obituary — Harry Orsman

Harry Orsman (1928 – 2002) In his fine eulogy at Harry Orsman’s funeral, Stuart Johnston considered the meanings we might take from “character”. He unravelled the word so that it extended far beyond the way we usually use it, and

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Posted in Obituaries

Whizzbangs and big bangs, Fleur Beale

Follow the blue Brigid Lowry Allen & Unwin, $19.95, ISBN 186508400X Letters from the Coffin Trenches Ken Catran Random House, $16.95, ISBN 1869415094 The Sleeper Wakes David Hill Puffin, $15.95, ISBN 0141313242 The High Wind Blows David Hill Puffin, $15.95,

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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review and Young adults

Tripping our light fantastic, Adrienne Simpson

Fantasy and Folly: the lost world of New Zealand musicals 1880-1940 Peter Harcourt Steele Roberts, $39.95, ISBN 1877228656 The dearth of published research on the history of entertainment in New Zealand would be reason enough to welcome the late Peter

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Posted in History, Music, Non-fiction and Review

Standing tall, Rosemary Norman

Essential New Zealand Short Stories ed Owen Marshall Godwit, $39.95, ISBN 1869620941 There isn’t any compromise with essential, and not much leeway either so it was a relief to read the introduction and find the editor’s explanation for using it

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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review and Short stories

Kissing and telling, Chris Else

Within the Kiss Charlotte Randall Penguin, $27.95, ISBN 0141006382 When I was young and stupid, I used to believe that reading a novel meant that you had to try to understand what the author wanted to say. If the writing

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Posted in Fiction, Literature and Review

“Ikey” and I, Paul Morris

At the Edge of Memory: A Family Story Michael King Penguin, $34.95, ISBN 0143018159 In his new book, Michael King revisits his Kiwi Irish Catholic background, focusing on his experiences of anti-semitism. Nuns explained that God had withdrawn His blessing

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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction and Review

Missing Iris, Jane Stafford

The Book of Iris: A Life of Robin Hyde Derek Challis and Gloria Rawlinson Auckland University Press, $69.95, ISBN 1869402677 Often the genesis of a biography is as interesting as the work itself. Robin Hyde died in 1939 in London

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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction and Review

Editorial — Issue 55

Enemies of promise   “Whom the gods wish to destroy they first call promising.” That was Cyril Connolly in 1938, warning of the dangers threatening writers of the time. More specifically, in his ground-breaking part-memoir, part-critical volume Enemies of Promise,

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