Blog Archives

A multi‑media resource, Patrick King

Te Māhuri John C Moorfield, Longman Paul, $49.95 The first textbook of the Māori language published in New Zealand was Thomas Kendall’s A Korao no New Zealand; or the New Zealander’s First Book; being an attempt to compose some lessons for

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Posted in Language, Māori, Non-fiction, Review

A moving figure on a static canvas, Jackie Owens

Crimes of Neglect Stephanie Johnson, New Women’s Press, $21.95 Stephanie Johnson’s first novel charts the emotional wasteland of Beatrice: cellist, mother, veteran of relationships, and, in the eyes of her sisters and ex-husbands, disaster. Drifting from Teasedale to Christchurch to

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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Short history reviews, Dale Williams

Waiheke Island. A History Paul Monin, Dunmore Press, $34.95 Aucklanders are in love with the romantic idea of a sizeable, liveable island just 20 kilometres from their urban sprawl. But Waiheke’s wide range of natural resources have always been desired

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

Crazy richness shaped with formality, Peter Crisp

Vital Writing 3. New Zealand Stories and Poems, 1991‑92 Andrew Mason (ed), Godwit, $29.95 Anti-criticism, for a meta-critical occasion. It is 1993. The cards are nearly all on the table … A deep breath … Changing motifs in speech, changes in

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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Poetry, Review, Short stories

Essay – Iain Sharp

Iain Sharp: Letter from Auckland: Son of Landfall At the time of writing, it’s in the midst of a closing-down sale, like much of Auckland, but for the last couple of years there has been a music shop on the

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Posted in Opinion

A new frame of reference, Tony Simpson

Frontier New Zealand: The Search for Eldorado 1800-1920 Duncan Mackay, Harper Collins, $34.95   The besetting sin of historical writing is hindsightism.  That is to say, the creation of the illusion that because we have arrived at today’s destination then at

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

The sacred fish, Norman Bilbrough

Norman Bilbrough looks at some short fiction currently available – and sorts the big from the small. Motel View Forbes Williams, Victoria University Press, $19.95 Animal Passions Sheridan Keith, New Women’s Press, $24.95 Just Like You Said It Would Be

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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review, Short stories

Near tears, Brian Easton

New Territory: the Transformation of New Zealand 1984-1992   Colin James, Bridget Williams Books, $29.95 The cognoscente will first turn to chapter 15’s footnote 25, one of the longest in the book, where the author claims that Bruce Jesson misrepresents his role

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

The strengths and pleasures of local history, Russell Stone

 A Pastoral Kingdom Divided: Cheviot 1889-94,  W J Gardner, Bridget Williams Books, $45 Without a doubt, the much-publicised success of the land policies of the great Liberal party of the 1890s, of which the very essence was the subdivision and settlement of the

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

Letters – Issue 8

Tribute to Muriel Bradshaw Some years ago while collecting material for what became the Oxford History of New Zealand Music I visited Muriel Bradshaw in Christchurch. She was the widow of the formidable Dr J C Bradshaw, first Professor of

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Posted in Letters
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