Blog Archives

Striving for consensus, Gordon McLauchlan

Kiwi Keith: A Biography of Keith Holyoake  Barry Gustafson  Auckland University Press, $60.00,  ISBN 9781869404000 I first met Keith Holyoake in 1943 in Pahiatua where my father was editor of the North Wairarapa Herald. In those days, even small country…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction

In the beginning, Peter Russell

Peter Russell looks at his childhood reading through the eyes of Ovid. At the time when the story opens, a little boy named Maui … was playing on the sea-shore. He was so happy, picking up shells and watching the…
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Posted in Imprints

From stage to page, Laurie Atkinson

Three Plays Gary Henderson Playmarket, $24.95, ISBN 9780908607303 Two Plays Toa Fraser  Playmarket, $22.95, ISBN 9780907310 Does anyone read plays any more? Go into any of our major bookshops and you’ll have difficulty finding shelves devoted to “Drama” or “Theatre”.…
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Posted in Literature, Plays, Review

Rough justice, Tom Brooking

The Newest Country in the World: A History of New Zealand in the Decade of the Treaty Paul Moon Penguin Books, $39.95, ISBN 978014300670 Paul Moon is one of the most prolific historians currently holding an academic position (Moon is…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

Ghost in the machine, John McCrystal

John McCrystal explores the practice and ethics of ghost-writing.  Everyone has a book inside them, as the saying goes. But not everyone can bring their inner book into the world without intervention. And as with childbirth, varying degrees of intervention…
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Posted in Comment

No tame dusky maiden, Peter Calder

Makereti: Taking Maori to the World  Paul Diamond  Random House, $44.99, ISBN 9781869419004 In 1911, the year of George V’s coronation, a “Festival of Empire” was staged at London’s Crystal Palace exhibition centre. A forerunner of the great mid-century expos…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Differently wired, Harvey Molloy and Latika Vasil

A Perfect World: A Father’s Quest to Unriddle the Mysteries of Autism David Cohen Random House, $34.95, ISBN 9781869418151 As New Zealanders, we like to pride ourselves that we live in a caring egalitarian society with decent, though imperfect, health…
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Posted in Health, Non-fiction, Review

The rain on her face, John B Turner

Monsoon Brian Brake David Bateman, $59.99, ISBN 13978186953608 For those familiar with Brian Brake’s “Monsoon” essay from Life and other magazines in the early 1960s, or those who more recently enjoyed the large-print exhibition at the Museum of New Zealand…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Photography, Review

Telling responses, Hamish Clayton

Look This Way: New Zealand Writers on New Zealand Artists Sally Blundell (ed) Auckland University Press, $44.99,  ISBN 9781869403713 Art and letters have always had a close working relationship in New Zealand. Our cultural landscape is pock-marked with painter-poets, jacks-of-all-trades…
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Posted in Art, Essays, Language, Non-fiction, Review
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