Blog Archives

Kiwi ways of dying, Abby Letteri

Last Words: Approaches to Death in New Zealand’s Cultures and Faiths ed Margot Schwass Bridget Williams Books, $29.99, ISBN 1877242349 The primary school my daughter attends has one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse populations in the New Zealand…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Peeling away from the margins Janet Wilson

Red Leaves Diana Bridge Auckland University Press, $22.95, ISBN 1869403460 Fire-penny Cilla McQueen University of Otago Press, $29.95, ISBN 1877372066 Resistance Meg Campbell Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop, $16.95, ISBN 1869420578 This bouquet of verse demonstrates the flourishing talent of…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

Forging the real, Louise O’Brien

Hibiscus Coast Paula Morris Penguin, $28.00, ISBN 0143019767 The Fossil Pits Tim Corballis Victoria University Press, $29.95, ISBN 0864735081 With her debut novel, Queen of Beauty, Paula Morris won both the 2001 Adam Foundation Prize for Creative Writing and the…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Uneasy rider, Bernard Carpinter

One Good Run: The Legend of Burt Munro Tim Hanna Penguin, $35.00, ISBN 0143019740 You’ve seen the movie, now read the book. In the case of the film The World’s Fastest Indian and this book, that is the better order…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Standing to reason, Denis Welch

To Build a Nation: Collected Writings 1975-1999 Bruce Jesson (ed Andrew Sharp) Penguin, $35.00, ISBN 0143020528 New Rights New Zealand: Myths, Moralities and Markets  Dolores Janiewski and Paul Morris Auckland University Press, $34.99, ISBN 1869403452 I first saw Bruce Jesson…
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Posted in Essays, Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review

International writers come to town, Jane Stafford

New Zealand Post Writers and Readers Week 2006 I first read Helen Garner in the 1980s. Her novel Monkey Grip, a spare, sad tale of Melbourne junkies had an effect on me I can’t quite explain – perhaps it was…
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Posted in Comment

Home away from home Linda Olsson

My Home Now ed Gail Thomas and Leanne McKenzie Cape Catley, $24.99, ISBN 1877340049 This anthology tells the stories of 47 first-generation immigrants to New Zealand. According to the back cover, “New Zealand is shown in a new and heart-warming…
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Posted in History, Memoir, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Plaits and mandibles, Margaret Mahy

Mona Minim and the Smell of the Sun Janet Frame, illustrations by David Elliot Random, $29.95, ISBN 1869417240 Mona Minim and the Smell of the Sun, by novelist Janet Frame, was first published in 1969. In those days not many…
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Posted in Children, Literature, Review

Deep footprints, Jack Perkins

In the Air Henare te Ua Reed, $34.99, ISBN 0790010119 Henare te Ua, grandson of Sir Apirana Ngata, cousin of Witi Ihimaera, takes us on a journey spanning the period from the 1930s to the end of the century; through…
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Posted in Autobiography, Non-fiction, Review

Letters — Issue 72

Cooking the books Tim Hazledine (NZB, December 2005) believes “cookbooks, textbooks, sporting books and so on” should be excluded from government funding of literature, on the basis that these genres are “unworthy of further public encouragement”. Wine books in recent …
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Posted in Letters
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