Blog Archives

World-famous in New Zealand, Philip Temple

Heaphy Iain Sharp Auckland University Press, $64.99,  ISBN 9781869404215 The one-name title for this book confidently assumes this is someone we all know. After all, there can be only one Heaphy – Charles – because in the history of our…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

The endurance of Sappho, Alan Loney

Alan Loney records his long-lasting admiration for the lute-playing poet. The persistence of the ancient Greek poet Sappho (c630-570 BC) in the literary imagination of the West is one of the most remarkable aspects of the poetic tradition. While many…
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Posted in Imprints

The high ground, Simon Upton

Whose High Country? A History of the South Island High Country of New Zealand  Roberta McIntyre Penguin Books, $45.00,  ISBN 97801430084125 At the risk of irretrievably mixing one’s metaphors, it is dairy farmers who are today on the sheep’s back.…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

Time out, Mark Houlahan

Chinese Opera Ian Wedde Victoria University Press, $30.00, ISBN 9780864735850 When a story by Ian Wedde called “Chinese Opera” was published in Sport 2, readers were informed that he expected to “finish Chinese Opera, his fourth novel, in 1989.” Nineteen…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Troubled missionary, Paul Moon

God’s Messenger: J F Riemenschneider and Racial Conflict in 19th Century New Zealand Peter Oettli Huia, $55.00, ISBN 9781869693201 The lives of missionaries in 19th century New Zealand have tended to end up being documented in two forms. The first…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Religion, Review

Sheering off, Michael Hulse

The Love School: Personal Essays Elizabeth Knox Victoria University Press, $33.00,  ISBN 9780864735928 Paremata, the childhood novella which followed her debut novel After Z-Hour, was my own first encounter with Elizabeth Knox’s writing. The copy she gave me is inscribed…
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Posted in Essays, Literature, Non-fiction, Review

Ex cathedra, Paul Morris

A Word in Season: Reflections on Spirituality, Faith and Ethics Richard Randerson  Matai House, $19.50, ISBN 9780473136543 The Anglican Church in New Zealand, like the other major denominations, is split between its liberals and conservatives. This division is over how…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Religion, Review

Walking with McCahon, Martin Edmond

In this extract from Dark Night, Martin Edmond retraces the steps of Colin McCahon, who, on April 11 1984, went missing in Sydney’s Royal Botanical Gardens and was not found again for 36 hours. I actually made the walk from…
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Posted in Extract

The embodiment of dreams, Brendan O’Brien

The Printing of a Masterpiece  Alan Loney Black Pepper, $AUD25.95,  ISBN 9781876044589 With so much reading now done on the computer screen, Alan Loney’s new publication arrives to remind us of some of the other qualities we encounter when we…
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Posted in Art, Non-fiction

Shooting the south, Stella Ramage

White Silence: Grahame Sydney’s Antarctica Grahame Sydney  Viking, $115.00, ISBN 9780670072538 How does the sustained gaze of the landscape painter, obsessively re-imagining the sun-scorched expanses of Central Otago in a million meticulous brushstrokes, adjust to the mechanical snap of a…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Photography, Review
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