Blog Archives

Pious historians, pioneer ancestors, Rose Lovell-Smith

Nothing but Grass and Wind: The Rutherfords of North Canterbury Janet Holm, Hazard Press, $59.95 The Voyage of the ‘May Queen’ Margaret Drake Brockman, Merlin Books, price not given   In 1859 George Rutherford bought the lease of a largish…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

Raising Questions, Paul Millar

Witi Ihimaera: A Changing Vision Umelo Ojinmah, University of Otago Press, $24.95 I Have What I Gave: The Fiction of Janet Frame Judith Dell Panny, Daphne Brasell Associates Press, $34.95   Signs are that New Zealand literature is in good…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Nature’s nurture, Phillip Mann

Natural Healing in New Zealand Chris Cooper, Random House, $24.95   Whether it be the result of successive governments tinkering with the National Health system or the much heralded coming of the Age of Aquarius, the fact is that in…
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Posted in Health, Non-fiction, Review

Variety, uniqueness and eccentricity, Bronwyn Labrum

Women in History 2 Barbara Brookes, Charlotte Macdonald, and Margaret Tennant (eds), Bridget Williams Books, $34.95   Mid-way through women’s suffrage centenary year, the distinctly double‑edged nature of the whole business is becoming increasingly apparent. On the one hand women…
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Posted in Gender, History, Non-fiction, Review

Map of the Heart, Lee Wallace

Musica Ficta Anne Kennedy, Auckland University Press, $24.95   Now, to the scandal of men, women are prophesying. So runs the epigraph of Anne Kennedy’s Musica Ficta, though quite what scandal the novel involves remains a puzzle. In so far…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Poem — Bill Sewell

Interactive   Virtually alive stare through the terminal screen instead of the window. Clouds and light the water slopping about the harbour do not move with the speed or anything like the obedience of electronic impulses. A dance of fingers…
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Posted in Poem

Travelling through fiction, Charles Ferrall

The Good Tourist and the Laughing Cadaver Michael Gifkins (ed) Vintage, 1993, $24.95   Visiting a library in Timbuktu, an actual town in the central west African country of Mali, the Australian writer Murray Bail is told by an Islamic…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Bombasts and Jinglists, Mark Williams

The New Place; The Poetry of Settlement in New Zealand, 1852-1914 Harvey McQueen, Victoria University Press, $29.95   New Zealand poetry begins with Ursula Bethell. Before her there were scribblers, versifiers, poetasters, bombasts, jinglists and hobbyists, but there were no…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry

Writing and revenge, Colleen Reilly

A Distraction of Opposites Sandra Arnold, Hazard Press, Christchurch, $24.95   The front cover illustration of A Distraction of Opposites is a painting by Heather Busch entitled ‘Look at the Pattern.’ At first glance, what you see is ordinary objects…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Poetic Grammars, Mary Paul

How to Talk Andrew Johnston, Victoria University Press, $19.95 Piki Ake! Robert Sullivan, Auckland University Press, $19.95   I was given these two books to review with the instruction that I should look at them in the wider context of…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review
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