Blog Archives

The art of the odd, Janet Wilson

Swallowing Diamonds Marilyn Duckworth Vintage, $26.95, ISBN 1869415485 In Marilyn Duckworth, New Zealand has its finest writer of the absurd. Although others have written about states of unreality or non-reality – most particularly Janet Frame, younger novelists like Elizabeth Knox,…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Queering the Kiwi bloke’s pitch, Gavin McLean

The Life of Brian: Masculinities, Sexualities and Health in New Zealand ed Heather Worth, Anna Paris and Louisa Allen University of Otago Press, $39.95, ISBN 1877276251 Worlds in Collision: The Gay Debate in New Zealand 1960-1986 Laurie Guy Victoria University…
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Posted in Gender, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Horace at Kapiti, Roger Robinson

Early in the second of the “Four Letters in Verse” that make up Alistair Te Ariki Campbell’s Poets in Our Youth, the poet is recalling for Harry Orsman how as a boarder at Weir House, I found myself in the…
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Posted in Comment

Poem — Owen Marshall

The Diogenes Club (In memory of Bill Sewell)   Yes, you will have received an invitation, join the others in the heavy armchairs of the Strangers’ Room. Sherlock, in an upswing mood which analysts today would recognise, will dominate the…
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Posted in Poem

Letters — Issue 59

Spiteful review Is it surprising that Michael Grimshaw was so destructive in his December 2002 review of Snapshots on the Journey? Perhaps, when we notice the self-promotion of his own anthology, compiled with the help of one of the editors…
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Posted in Letters

Light reading, dark lives, Margie Thomson

The Denniston Rose Jenny Pattrick Black Swan, $26.95, ISBN 1869415612 This highly readable historical novel has already had a big thumbs-up from readers, and it’s not hard to understand why. It’s a darkly engaging story that almost constitutes a new…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Truth vs the good story, Laura Kroetsch

Barbed Wire Between Us: A story of love and war Derek Round Random House, $29.95, ISBN 1869415248 Last of the Whalers: Charlie Heberley’s Story Heather Heberley Cape Catley, $29.95, ISBN 0908561903 In Search of Elisa Marchetti: A Writer’s Search for…
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Posted in Autobiography, Biography, History, Non-fiction, Review

Hobson’s choice, Bryan Gilling

Te Ara Ki Te Tiriti: The Path to the Treaty of Waitangi Paul Moon David Ling, $29.95, ISBN 0908990839 The Treaty of Waitangi often appears to have sprung forth, fully formed, from William Hobson’s pen on 6 February 1840. Many…
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Posted in History, Māori, Non-fiction, Review

Speaking frankly of Frank and James K, Stevan Eldred-Grigg

An Affair of the Heart: A Celebration of Frank Sargeson’s Centenary ed Graeme Lay and Stephen Stratford Cape Catley, $49.99, ISBN 0908561938 O Jerusalem – James K Baxter: An Intimate Memoir Mike Minehan Hazard Press, $24.95, ISBN 1877270385 Two icons…
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Posted in Essays, Literature, Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

The odd couple, Eric Richards

States of Mind: Australia and New Zealand 1901-2001 ed Arthur Grimes, Lydia Wevers, and Ginny Sullivan Institute of Policy Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, $39.00, ISBN 0908935644 There is something peculiar about two affluent and well-established small countries sitting together…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review
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