Blog Archives

International writers come to town, Jane Stafford

New Zealand Post Writers and Readers Week 2006 I first read Helen Garner in the 1980s. Her novel Monkey Grip, a spare, sad tale of Melbourne junkies had an effect on me I can’t quite explain – perhaps it was…
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Tickling history, Jane Stafford

The New Zealand Wars Trilogy: The House of Strife, Monday’s Warriors, Season of the Jew  Maurice Shadbolt David Ling, $99.99, ISBN 0908990995 On August 8 this year, a ceremony was held at Parliament to unveil a plaque to Lieutenant Colonel…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Pa-men and boys, Linley Boniface

Katherine Mansfield’s Men ed Charles Ferrall and Jane Stafford Katherine Mansfield Birthplace Society in association with Steele Roberts, $29.95, ISBN 187733846X “The idea of sitting and waiting for a husband is absolutely revolting and it really is the attitude of…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Writers off the page, Jane Stafford

New Zealand International Arts Festival Writers and Readers Week begins on 9 March in Wellington. It is an event which in the past has mixed an eclectic selection of novelists, poets and essayists – celebrated and little known – with…
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About those vampires, Jane Stafford

Daylight Elizabeth Knox Victoria University Press, $29.95, ISBN 0864734492 Bad O’Phelan is a New Zealand caver traumatised by the memory of Dart Ridge, a Cave Creek disaster, which he survived “taking three backward steps off the viewing platform above the…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Strangely compelling, Jane Stafford

Tamar Deborah Challinor HarperCollins, $21.95, ISBN 1869504089 The Trespass Barbara Ewing Times Warner, $34.95, ISBN 0316860573 The Stove Rake Denise Keay Flamingo, $24.95, ISBN 1869504062 One of the most disconcerting aspects of the reading experience, encountered frequently at this more…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature

Romancing the colonial, Jane Stafford

Johanna’s World O M Andresen (trans Johan Bonnevie) HarperCollins, $24.95, ISBN 1869503708 Mrs Rochester Warwick Blanchett HarperCollins, $24.95, ISBN 1869503651 Consequences Carol Thomas HarperCollins, $19.95, ISBN 1869503732 The uses of history are manifold and many-faceted. The literary uses of history…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Missing Iris, Jane Stafford

The Book of Iris: A Life of Robin Hyde Derek Challis and Gloria Rawlinson Auckland University Press, $69.95, ISBN 1869402677 Often the genesis of a biography is as interesting as the work itself. Robin Hyde died in 1939 in London…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Biennial banquet, Jane Stafford

Writers and Readers Week Common threads of history, memory, the intersection of personal experience with the historical past, suggest lively debate at this year’s Writers and Readers Week. The Observer critic said of John Banville’s latest novel, Eclipse: “With prose…
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Writers and Readers Week, Jane Stafford

Come and float free of normal life Every year I bury a hundred and fifty of my townspeople. Another dozen or two I take to the crematory to be burned. I sell caskets, burial vaults, and urns for ashes. I…
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