Blog Archives

Poem — Jan FitzGerald

Mike   The photo in the lounge told the story. A handsome man sitting on a haybale in a barn flanked by his wife, four children and six border collies  their ruffs ribboned with medals.   Other dogs he had buried…
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Posted in Poem

Not just good friends, Bill Hastings

Mates and Lovers: A History of Gay New Zealand Chris Brickell  Godwit, $49.99, ISBN 9781869621346 This review comes to you from the backwoods of Ontario. It is a crisp autumn evening. I write this in front of a fire in…
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Posted in Gender, History, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Meeting the ancestors, Peter Wells

A new history of homosexuality prompts Peter Wells to look back on his early life as a gay New Zealander.   It’s probably a reflection on the heft of a book that it makes you question your own sense of the…
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Posted in Comment

The Bassett version, Harvey McQueen

Working With David Michael Bassett Hachette Livre, $59.99, ISBN 9781869710941  Working With David is a dogmatic and humourless book about a man who, even in adversity, revelled in laughter. Beginning with clear praise – “at the peak of his career…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review

Hinterlands, Mary Macpherson

Fiat Lux: 51 Photographs Andrew Ross Victoria University Press, $50.00,  ISBN 9780864735737 Hinterland: Rick Alexander’s New Zealand Photographs Rick Alexander First Edition, $75.00, ISBN 9780475123703 A Short History of Photography Harvey Benge with Gerry Badger Godwit, $44.99, ISBN 9781869621445 Even…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Photography, Review

Poem — John Ridland

Night Song for my Wife to Sing at Dawn, with Ducks (Back in Christchurch, fifty years after she left)   Solo: My Wife I sleep while he wakes to write these thoughts for me. My thoughts sleep with me through…
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The importance of being Ernest Karen Hartshorn

The Awa Book of New Zealand Science  Rebecca Priestley (ed) Awa Press, $48.00, ISBN 9780958262996 I grew up in a household with a chemistry professor for a mother, a kitchen full of mysterious jars labelled “Experiment: Do Not Eat”, and…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Review, Science

On message, Isa Moynihan

Is She Still Alive?  Tessa Duder HarperCollins, $34.99, ISBN 9781869507107 Alternative Medicine Laura Solomon Flame Books, $30.00 (approx),  ISBN 978095562514 Transported  Tim Jones Vintage, $27.99, ISBN 9781864919844 In her introduction to Is She Still Alive? Tessa Duder says the stories…
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Posted in Literature, Review, Short stories

Reading the score, Peter Russell

Facing the Music: Charles Baeyertz and the Triad Joanna Woods Otago University Press, $45.00,  ISBN 9781877372551 Charles Nalder Baeyertz was born in Melbourne in 1866, his surname inherited from a German who came to England in the 18th century –…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Legions of the brave, Rhonda Pritchard

Serial Survivors: Women’s Narratives of Surviving Rape Jan Jordan The Federation Press, $49.99,  ISBN 9781862876798 It could easily be a Jimmy McGovern script. A “good husband and father of three children”, with a secret lover on the side, stalks and…
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Posted in Gender, Non-fiction, Review
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