Blog Archives

The one that got away, Russell Haley

Royce, Royce, the People’s Choice Peter Hawes Random House, $26.95, ISBN 1869414985 Peter Hawes’s new novel is a big, jocular and elaborate fishing yarn. The tale-telling is strenuously masculine, prodding, very physical. As you read, you feel as though you’re…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Awestruck at Otira, Neville Bennett

At Home on the Road Jill Malcolm New Holland, $24.95, ISBN 1877246658 Southern Journeys: South Island People and Places Roy Sinclair Random House, $34.95, ISBN 186941439X There is a kea in my garden. When I hang out the washing, a…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Rhythm and voice, R Carl Shuker interviews Damien Wilkins

R Carl Shuker interviews Damien Wilkins   R Carl Shuker (RCS): Do you remember the initial spark of Chemistry? Damien Wilkins (DW): Yes, I do. I was down in Timaru, where the novel is set. I was hanging out at…
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Posted in Comment

Love and other cheeses, Susan Budd

Blessed Are Sarah-Kate Lynch Black Swan, $26.95, ISBN 1869414977 Aromantic comedy with the WOW factor, Blessed Are makes you laugh, makes you cry and tells you everything you ever wanted to know, and more, about cheese-making. Coolarney House, where Joseph…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Paradise preserved? Simon Upton

Pavlova Paradise Revisited Austin Mitchell Penguin, $27.95, ISBN 0143018264 For those old enough to remember it, The Half-Gallon Quarter-Acre Pavlova Paradise was a funny, disrespectful but good-natured account of what it felt like to be a clever, progressive Left Brit…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Art of survival, Ross Calman

Carved Histories: Rotorua Ngati Tarawhai Woodcarving Roger Neich Auckland University Press, $89.95, ISBN 186940257X It would not be a gross overstatement to say that we have got Ngati Tarawhai, a tribe originally from Lake Okataina (east of Rotorua), to thank…
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Posted in Art, History, Māori, Non-fiction, Review

Make-believe, John McCrystal

Paradise Tina Shaw Penguin, $27.95, ISBN 0143018272 Notions of paradise – nirvana, Shangri-la – are universal to human societies, because they are, of course, simply expressions of that most basic of human faculties, hope. Just as we live our lives…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Poem — Vincent O’Sullivan

The Retired Bruiser dreaming La Belle Dame at the least   Whenever he saw “I could be happy here” appear across a bedroom wall like words blazoned on a banner by a man in glinting metal, on a horse too…
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Posted in Poem

Fruit ‘n nut, Emma Neale

Only One Angel Jan Kemp University of Otago Press, $24.95, ISBN 1877276170 Snowing Down South Janet Charman Auckland University Press, $21.95, ISBN 1869402685 After publishing a poem in a church magazine, and receiving messages from people all over the country…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

Poem — Robert Sullivan

South Point, Hawai‘i   On the Big Island, where the ocean voyaging waka left for Tahiti, perhaps Aotearoa, we watched the mooring stones: smoothed by water, smoothed by hands, carved out to moor the waka. We felt the spirits soar…
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Posted in Poem
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