Blog Archives

Just looking, thanks, Julia Millen

Going Up, Going Down: The Rise and Fall of the Department Store Helen B Laurenson Auckland University Press, $34.99, ISBN 186940341X Before TV and 24-hour on-tap entertainment, department stores provided escapism on a grand scale. Looking back to my childhood,…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

The Gee-spot, Roger Robinson

Blindsight Maurice Gee Penguin, $34.95, ISBN 0143020234 Alice Ferry, narrator and co-protagonist of Maurice Gee’s new novel, is a mycologist – an expert on fungi. That is, her professional life is devoted to studying spongy, fragile, morbid life-forms that lurk…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

On display, Stuart Murray

Making Ends Meet: Essays and Talks 1992-2004 Ian Wedde Victoria University Press, $39.95, ISBN 086473503 In the title essay of this wonderful collection, originally given as a talk on issues of research and archiving at the National Library of New…
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Posted in Essays, Non-fiction, Review

Love and damage, Margie Thomson

A Short History of Paradise  Norman Bilbrough Penguin, $28.00, ISBN 0143020358 Kissing Shadows  Renée Huia, $34.99, ISBN 1869692039 How often can one say of local fiction, and mean it, that it’s an absolute delight to read? Known as a writer…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Poem — John O’Connor

Rex purveyor of tall tales & veteran of Gallipoli, the Western Front. carpenter & model maker, smoker of ‘roll-yr-owns’, thin as a rake, he grew only asparagus for an anaemic looking wife who loved the races & left him &…
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Posted in Poem

The ones that didn’t get away, David Hill

How to Catch a Fish Kevin Ireland Awa Press, $24.99, ISBN 0958253862 How to Drink a Glass of Wine John Saker Awa Press, $24.99, ISBN 095823582X Discussing Aldous Huxley’s On the Margin in his 2002 biography of that now untrendy…
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Posted in Essays, Non-fiction, Review

The quality question, Chris Else

New Zealand Society of Authors president Chris Else examines  the options for funding a home-grown literature. In offering his radical rethink of Creative New Zealand’s policy for funding literature (NZB, December 2005), Tim Hazledine suggests the only reasonable justification for…
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Posted in Comment

Making it, Bernadette Hall

A Box of Bees Emily Dobson Victoria University Press, $17.95, ISBN 0864735103 As It Was in the Beginning Stu Bagby Steele Roberts, $19.95, ISBN 1877338540 Raw Places  John Horrocks Steele Roberts, $19.95, ISBN 1877338451 Who can deny the bliss of…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

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
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