Blog Archives

Poem – Fleur Adcock

Elegy for Alistair    in mem Alistair Campbell (1925-2009) Now he is dead, who wrote “Now he is dead, who talked of wild places and skies inhabited by the hawk” – thereby captivating readers and composers, envious fellow-poets, multiple admirers…
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Posted in Poem

Obituary — Alistair Te Ariki Campbell

Alistair Te Ariki Campbell (1925-2009) A death at the age of 84 cannot be called unexpected. But at any age the loss of a person close to us leaves an absence that will not be filled. In the case of…
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Posted in Obituaries

Trail-blazing, Harvey McQueen

Helen Clark: A Political Life Denis Welch Penguin Books, $40.00, ISBN 9780143202417 I admire Helen Clark, and I was pleased to be asked to review this book. Unlike David Lange, who flashed meteor-like across the parliamentary firmament, Clark became a…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Deeds not dolls, Bill Hastings

In the Footsteps of Ethel Benjamin: New Zealand’s First Woman Lawyer Janet November Victoria University Press, $50.00, ISBN 9780864736079 The title is important. Janet November has not, in fact, written a biography of Ethel Benjamin, New Zealand’s first woman lawyer.…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Happenstance, Martin Edmond

Chance is a Fine Thing  Philip Temple Vintage, $36.99, ISBN 9781869419851 In his preface to Chance is a Fine Thing, Philip Temple – writer, mountaineer, campaigner, explorer and historian – essays a distinction between memoir and autobiography. The latter, he…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

There and now, Janet Wilson

Floating Worlds: Essays on Contemporary New Zealand Fiction  Anna Jackson and Jane Stafford (eds) Victoria University Press, $40.00, ISBN 9780864736017 The increased tempo of public debate in the last decade over issues such as public policy and the arts, canon…
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Posted in Essays, Literature, Non-fiction, Review

Something out of Dante’s Inferno, David Grant

Kiwi Compañeros: New Zealand and the Spanish Civil War  Mark Derby (ed) Canterbury University Press, $45.00, ISBN 9781877257711 For the great bulk of New Zealanders between 1936 and 1939 the Spanish Civil War was like any other civil war; it…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, War

Stitches in time, Janet Hughes

The Blind Singer Chris Price Auckland University Press, $24.99, ISBN 9781869404338 Vivid Familiar Stephanie de Montalk Victoria University Press, $25.00, ISBN 9780864735980 The Tram Conductor’s Blue Cap Michael Harlow Auckland University Press, $24.99, ISBN 9781869404307 Pocket Edition Geoff Cochrane Victoria…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

Courier to Times New Roman — Paula Boock

Paula Boock surveys the pros and cons of moving from the dark side of TV script writing back to the novel. Damien Wilkins accuses me of being a scriptwriter at heart. Despite my protestations that this year I am writing…
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Posted in Comment

Innocence, disruption, death, Tom Brooking

Aphrodite’s Island: The European Discovery of Tahiti Anne Salmond Viking, $65.00, ISBN 9780670073962 The publication of a new book by Anne Salmond is always an occasion worth celebrating and savouring. Aphrodite’s Island, about the European discovery of, and encounter with,…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review
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