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 and Review

A light yodel, Jane Bowron

The Topp Twins Book Jools and Lynda Topp Penguin Books, $29.95, ISBN 0143018604 The Topp Twins book is an absolute must for Topp Twins’ fans and an absolute miss for those with no more than a passing acquaintance with the

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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction and Review

Aotearoa – the last frontier, Neville Peat

Environmental Histories of New Zealand ed Eric Pawson and Tom Brooking Oxford University Press, $49.95, ISBN 019558421X Environmentally and in other ways, New Zealand is a last frontier – the last temperate-climate land on earth to be discovered and colonised

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Posted in History, Natural History, Non-fiction and 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 and Sociology

Editorial — Issue 59

And the winner is   Literary prizes are, of course, a good thing, and only the most curmudgeonly of spoilsports would want to abolish them. In a profession with few career markers, prizes like the Montana New Zealand Book Awards

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Posted in Editorial

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

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

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 and Review

Boy’s Own snapshots, Hugh Roberts

Imperial Vistas Family Fictions Kendrick Smithyman Auckland University Press, $24.95, ISBN 186940274X Last Poems  Kendrick Smithyman The Holloway Press, $65, ISBN 095823132X It’s an interesting parlour game to speculate how New Zealand’s literary history might have changed had Kendrick Smithyman

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Posted in Literature, Poetry and 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, Maori, Non-fiction and Review
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