Blog Archives

True to principle, David Young

Peace People Elsie Locke, Hazard Press, $34.95 At the age of 80, Elsie Locke can look back on a life as a sometime communist (till 1956), environmentalist, peace campaigner, feminist and writer, and, contemplating a world so different from the…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology, War

Finding a solid footing here, Bernadette Hall

The Skinny Louie Book Fiona Farrell, Penguin, $24.95 Female morality is described by Marilyn French as being a web of relations, not a hierarchy of rules. It takes its strength from recognising connections and taking responsibility for them. It is…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Yes, but who let it become so? Colin James

New Zealand’s Constitution in Crisis: Reforming Our Political System Geoffrey Palmer, John McIndoe, $34.95 Electoral Behaviour In New Zealand Martin Holland (ed), Oxford University Press, $29.95 New Zealand Politics in Perspective (3rd Edition) Hyam Gold (ed), Longman Paul, $49.95 Sir…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review

Jane Austen’s unlikely sister, Elizabeth Caffin

Cousins Patricia Grace, Penguin, $24.95 We now have the good fortune in New Zealand that a number of fiction writers can be relied on to produce a good book time after time – Jane Frame, Owen Marshall, Maurice Gee, and…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Pragmatists with principles, Shelagh Duckham Cox

Undeveloping Nation: New Zealand’s Twenty Year Fall Towards the Third World David McLoughlin, Penguin, $24.95 The Decent Society: Essays In Response to National’s Economic and Social Policies Jonathan Boston and Paul Dalziel (eds) Oxford University Press, $29.95 Controlling Interests: Business,…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review, Sociology

Be a festival, Keri Hulme

The Shark that Ate the Sun (Ko a Mago ne Kal a fa) John Puhiatau Pule, Penguin Books, $24.95 Can you adequately review a 294-page book – which is rich, allusive, poetic, partly epistolary, partly story‑chants from last century, partly…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Dinosaurs, doctors and daredevils, Dale Williams

Valley of the Dinosaurs: The Story of New Zealand’s Dinosaur Woman Joan Wiffen, Random Century, $19.95 (128 pp) When Joan Wiffen’s husband Pont became too ill to attend his geology night classes, this Hawke’s Bay housewife went in his place…
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Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Letters — Issue 7

Who loses? Dear Madam Editor, If what you say in your September Editorial about John Thomson is true, you ought to have fallen over backwards to retain his services. If what you say is untrue, you ought not to have…
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Posted in Letters

Travelling through time, Nelson Wattie

The New Zealanders: A Story of Austral Lands J S C Dumont-d’Urville, transl Carol Legge, Victoria University Press, $39.95 From the excellent translations of Olive Wright, even readers who prefer to avoid the pitfalls of French grammar already know that…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Don’t expect the head, George Griffiths

A People’s History: Illustrated Biographies from the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, Volume One, 1769-1869, W H Oliver (ed), Bridget Williams Books/ Department of Internal Affairs, $39.95 Taken alone, this collection of biographical essays can be summed up quickly. Wellwritten,…
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Posted in Biography, History, Non-fiction, Review
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