Blog Archives

Unprickling the pair, Spiro Zavos

The Prickly Pear: Making Nationalism in Australia and New Zealand Denis McLean University of Otago Press, $49.95, ISBN 18772776472 About 20 year ago I was sitting at my desk at The Sydney Morning Herald wondering what I would write for

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review, Sociology

Shock, horror on the colonial frontier, Bronwyn Dalley

Captured by Maori: White Female Captives, Sex and Racism on the Nineteenth-century New Zealand Frontier Trevor Bentley Penguin, $35.00, ISBN 0143019236 Nineteenth-century writers of broadsheets would have had a field day with the title and cover of Trevor Bentley’s new

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Posted in History, Māori, Non-fiction, Review

A million miles from Palmerston North, Linley Boniface

The Miss Tutti Frutti Contest: Travel Tales of the South Pacific Graeme Lay Awa Press, $29.95, ISBN 0958250901 Liars and Lovers: A Travel Memoir Diane Brown Vintage, $26.95, ISBN 1869416147 As a child, I used to read adventure stories featuring

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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Frame with a lighter hand, Mark Williams

Book Book  Fiona Farrell Vintage, $26.95, ISBN 1869416198 I associate being in Christchurch with knowing Fiona Farrell. Both of us came down from provincial North Island cities, Hamilton and Palmerston North, in the early 1990s. I came to teach in

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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Infinite last gasps in Niu Sila, Dougal McNeill

The Life and the Dark Richard Reeve Auckland University Press, $21.99, ISBN 1869403126 Wild Dogs Under My Skirt Tusiata Avia Victoria University Press, $24.95, ISBN 0864734743 Richard Reeve fits the definition: he is a man possessed of more than usual

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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

Once upon a time in West Auckland, Denis Welch

Black and White John Tamihere (with Helen Bain) Reed, $29.95, ISBN 0790009641 Few politicians these days have lives interesting enough to write about, let alone turn into saleable books. No one is going to queue up at Whitcoulls for Steve

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Posted in Autobiography, Non-fiction, Review

The House that we built, Colin James

The House: New Zealand’s House of Representatives 1854-2004 John E Martin Dunmore Press, $59.95, ISBN 0864694636 Parliament is a brutal place. Only the idealistic, the ideological, the hard-nosed and the ruthless gather there. No person is inviolate, no secret safe,

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review

Art and craft – the story so far, Megan Clayton

Ask someone with a literature PhD why they did it and you’ll get a grab-bag of answers, from feeling the devil’s shoulder-tap of academic ambition to it seeming like a good idea at the time. I did mine for both

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Posted in Comment

Long ago and far away, Rose Lovell-Smith

The Drover’s Road Collection: Adventures in New Zealand  Joyce West Bethlehem Books & Ignatius Press, $35.95 [approx], ISBN 1883937698 Joyce West published Drover’s Road with Dent in London in 1953. Two further volumes about Gay Allan and the other Drover’s

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Posted in Children, Fiction, Literature, Review, Young adults

Geek chic, Jane Bowron

An Asian at my Table Raybon Kan Penguin, $29.95, ISBN  0143019104 I first encountered Raybon Kan across a crowded news room at The Dominion when I was just starting out as tv critic back in the early 1990s. Raybon had

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Posted in Essays, Media, Non-fiction, Review
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