Blog Archives

Unstill life, Linley Boniface

Rita Angus: An Artist’s Life Jill Trevelyan Te Papa Press, $69.99, ISBN 9781877385391 Reading Rita Angus: An Artist’s Life, it’s difficult not to be periodically overcome by frustration at Angus’ exasperating personality. The picture that emerges is of a woman

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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction and Review

Good dog! Norman Bilbrough

Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy Lynley Dodd Mallinson Rendel, $30.00,  ISBN 9781877423147 Beginner writers often think that writing a picture book must be easy. But a story – any story – needs drafts and more drafts before it is ready

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Posted in Children, Literature and Review

All aboard, Don Aimer

Trainland: How Railways Made New Zealand Neill Atkinson Random House, $39.99, ISBN 9781869419059 I’ve always loved trains. A job in Timaru once in the days of steam had me driving regularly to Oamaru. North of the Waitaki River the main

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review and Sociology

Championing the local, Margot Schwass

Margot Schwass pays tribute to Ruth Dallas who died earlier this year. Silent bush, rain-soaked paddocks, solitary farmhouses hunkered down beneath black macrocarpas …. The landscapes so intensely reflected in the work of the late Ruth Dallas are very recognisably

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Posted in Comment

Ngati Peking, Charles Ferrall

Being Maori-Chinese: Mixed Identities Manying Ip Auckland University Press, $45.00,  ISBN 9781869403997 Many of the nearly 5,000 people who claim Maori-Chinese ancestry in Aotearoa New Zealand have a similar genealogy or whakapapa. During the 1920s and 1930s a Chinese man

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Posted in Maori, Non-fiction, Review and Sociology

Obituary — Gerry Evans

Gerry Evans (1937-2008) One-time seaman, wharfie and union leader, writer Gerry Evans of Wellington jokingly asked that his ashes be scattered in Karori Library. Born in Wales, he went to sea as a 16-year-old, and didn’t begin writing until 1994,

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Posted in Obituaries

No easy heroics, James Norcliffe

Shadow of the Mountain  Anna Mackenzie Longacre Press, $18.99, ISBN 9781877460005 Smashed  Mandy Hager Random House, $18.99, ISBN 9781869419424 Gool  Maurice Gee Puffin, $19.95, ISBN 9780143304005   Each of these kidult novels tells a compelling story in a tightly written

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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review and Young adults

The Dr Johnson of New Zealand literature, Michael Hulse

Book Self C K Stead Auckland University Press, $38.99,  ISBN 9781869404123 It isn’t in the spirit of the age that a Goethe will still attract his Eckermann, or a Dr Johnson his Boswell. A companion free of all other commitments,

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Posted in Literature, Non-fiction and Review

Mermaids, miners and mystics, Anne Else

Saltskin Louise Moulin Black Swan, $27.99, ISBN 9781869419608 Ribbons of Grace Maxine Alterio Penguin Books, $35.00, ISBN 9780143006442 Acts of Love Susan Pearce Victoria University Press, $29.99, ISBN 9780864735652 Three first (or at any rate, first published) novels, all by

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Posted in Fiction, Literature and Review

Not getting it, Christina Barton

The Big Picture: A History of New Zealand Art from 1642 Hamish Keith Godwit, $49.99, ISBN 9781869621322 I have thought for a long time that a series on the history of art in New Zealand would make for good television

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Posted in Art, Non-fiction and Review
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