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Four-colour collations, Gavin McLean

Michael Fowler’s University of Auckland Michael Fowler, Mallinson Rendel, $49.95 Nelson Observed; Portraits of a New Zealand Province Christopher B Vine, The Nelson Institute, price not indicated The all-colour book of regional paintings and sketches used to be a mainstay…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

The Independent Outlook, Lauris Edmond

This is the text of a graduation address given to the School of Humanities, Waikato University, in April this year.   There was a time when New Zealanders were, or appeared to be, a peaceful people. We did what we…
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Posted in Essays, Non-fiction

Blessed nativity, Anne French

Childbirth Choices Adrienne Bennett, Wendi Etherington, Daphne Hewson, Penguin, $34.95 There is a baby on the cover of this book, a little baby; dressed in a white cotton gown, bathed in warm light, peacefully asleep. That is the desired end…
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Posted in Health, Non-fiction, Review

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
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