Blog Archives

Obituary — Peter Munz

Peter Munz (1921-2006)   In 1924 Stalin is reputed to have said that of academicse had no fear but intellectuals were always a threat. Emeritus Professor Peter Munz was an intellectual, challenging received wisdom, brave in his judgements and a

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Posted in Obituaries

Wit and moral clarity, Hugh Roberts

Whim Wham’s New Zealand: The Best of Whim Wham 1937-1988 Terry Sturm (ed) Vintage, $34.99, ISBN 1869417577   It is by now no secret that Allen Curnow, a man with few rivals for the title of “New Zealand’s Greatest Poet”,

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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

Home and away. Paula Morris

I Am Always With You Philip Temple Random, $34.99, ISBN 1869417739 The Viewing Platform Ian Wedde Penguin, $29.95, ISBN 9780143020929 Local writers Stevan Eldred-Grigg (Kaput!) and Tina Shaw (The Black Madonna) have found imaginative inspiration in wartime Berlin, and now

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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

“Girl interested in wave technology”, David Hill

Bright Star: Beatrice Hill Tinsley Astronomer Christine Cole Catley Cape Catley, $49.99, ISBN 1877340014 I can offer the usual apologia for astronomy. There’s its significance as a global employer (NASA alone pays 20,000 salaries). Its contributions to other sciences, such

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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review, Science

Various elsewheres, Michael Hulse

Degrees of Separation Laurence Fearnley Penguin, $28.00, ISBN 0143020579 Relative Strangers Emma Neale Vintage, $27.99, ISBN 1869417828 Work in Progress Paul Thomas Black Swan, $27.99, ISBN 1869418255 Shanghai Boy Stevan Eldred-Grigg Vintage, $27.99, ISBN 1869417933   If I didn’t know

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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Letters — Issue 76

Hone Heke’s importance Rawiri Taonui in his review of my book Ngapua (NZB, October 2006) expresses reservations over my claim that Hone Heke Ngapua was one of the greatest Maori leaders of the last two centuries. Until recently, given Ngapua’s

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Posted in Letters

South by east, Duncan Campbell

The Origins of China’s Awareness of New Zealand, 1674-1911 William Tai Yuen New Zealand Asia Institute, The University of Auckland, $25.00, ISBN 0473104245 Unreal City: A Chinese Poet in Auckland Yang Lian (ed Jacob Edmond and Hilary Chung) Auckland University

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Posted in History, Memoir, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

The willow path to peace, Hamish McDouall

John Wright’s Indian Summers  John Wright with Sharda Ugra and Paul Thomas Hodder Moa Beckett, $49.99, ISBN 9781869710620 In a sport largely populated by talented solipsists, former New Zealand captain John Wright has always stood out within cricket for his

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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review, Sport

Faith and works, Anna Rogers

Shrewd Sanctity: The Story of Kathleen Hall, 1896-1970: Missionary Nurse in China Rae McGregor Polygraphia, $30.00, ISBN 1877332321 In an age of “icons” and “celebrities”, true heroes are hard to find. Kathleen Hall, however, was the real deal. This extraordinary

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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Books for Christmas

Some of our 2006 reviewers divulge what books they’d most like to find under the tree these holidays.    Elizabeth Smither wants Dead Europe by Christos Tsiolkas, this year’s Melbourne Age novel of the year, in which a gay Australian photographer travels

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Posted in Comment
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