Blog Archives

Going high, Julia Millen

To the Mountains: A Collection of New Zealand Alpine Writing
Laurence Fearnley and Paul Hersey (eds)
Otago University Press, $45.00,
ISBN 9781988531205

Since the arrival of Pacific peoples, New Zealand’s mountains have enthralled and enchanted. Māori revered the craggy peaks from afar while they forged ways through the hinterland. The first European explorer, Abel Tasman, sailing to the Southern Ocean in 1642, recorded the sighting of “a large land, uplifted high”. Captain Cook’s crew were bent on “conquest” in more ways than one. This collection features the 1998 re-enactment by 13 climbers of the 1773 ascent of Mt Sparrman in Fiordland, made by a party from Cook’s second voyage on the Resolution.

See more ›

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in History, Literature, Natural History, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Promising softly-spoken wonder, Thom Conroy

The Quiet Spectacular Laurence Fearnley Penguin, $38.00, ISBN 9780143574156 Laurence Fearnley occupies a position somewhere between national treasure and experimental writer. Her depictions of landscapes and her stylistic tendency toward restraint inspire praise, with reviews admiring Fearnley for how markedly

See more ›

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Telling our stories to ourselves, Chris Else

Jerome Kaino: My Story Jerome Kaino Penguin, $40.00, ISBN 9780143573562 Wildboy Brando Yelavich Penguin, $35.00, ISBN 9780143573159 The Good Doctor Lance O’Sullivan Penguin, $38.00, ISBN 9780143572510 How Bizarre Simon Grigg Awa Press, $38.00, ISBN 9781927249222 Lydia Bradey: Going Up is

See more ›

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

New waters, Emma Martin

Reach
Laurence Fearnley
Penguin, $38.00,
ISBN 9780143571728

Novels about art sometimes also seem to be novels about novels. Laurence Fearnley’s latest work, Reach, not only explores the relationship between life and creative expression but also, in a sense, enacts it. It picks out recognisable elements of contemporary New Zealand life, shakes them around a little, turns them inside out, and searches for the meanings within.

See more ›

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Strange rhythms, Ruth Nichol

Hokitika Town Charlotte Randall Penguin Books, $24.95, ISBN 9780143565390   The Hut Builder Laurence Fearnley Penguin Books, $40.00, ISBN 9780143205067   When I started Charlotte Randall’s Hokitika Town, I found it hard to get my head around the idiosyncratic patois

See more ›

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Home and away, Nicholas Reid

Dead People’s Music Sarah Laing Vintage, $29.99, ISBN 9781869791087 Footnotes to Sex Mia Farlane Viking, $37.00, ISBN 9780670917938 Mother’s Day Laurence Fearnley Penguin, $28.00, ISBN 9780143011255 I am male, middle-aged, heterosexual and monogamous. The first two terms make me different

See more ›

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Various elsewheres, Michael Hulse

Degrees of Separation Laurence Fearnley Penguin, $28.00, ISBN 0143020579 Relative Strangers Emma Neale Vintage, $27.99, ISBN 1869417828 Work in Progress Paul Thomas Black Swan, $27.99, ISBN 1869418255 Shanghai Boy Stevan Eldred-Grigg Vintage, $27.99, ISBN 1869417933   If I didn’t know

See more ›

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Cantankerous, laconic and weird, Margot Schwass

Getting Away With It Kevin Ireland Hazard Press, $29.99, ISBN 1877270792 Butler’s Ringlet Laurence Fearnley Penguin, $28.00, ISBN 0143019198 A Man Who Eats The Heart Josh Greenberg Victoria University Press, $29.95, ISBN 0864734824 Together, these three novels suggest that the

See more ›

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Beyond shock, Shelagh Duckham Cox

Room  Laurence Fearnley Victoria University Press, $24.95, ISBN 0864733909 Dr Amelia Walsh is an abortionist and the room of the title is her consulting room. A succession of women sit in her patient’s chair and respond in various ways to

See more ›

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Swimming with the tide, Sally Sutton

The Sound of her Body Laurence Fearnley Hazard Press, $16.95, ISBN 1 877161 25 X Night Swimming Emma Neale Vintage, $24.95, ISBN 1 86941 376 8 Spinners Anthony McCarten Vintage, $24.95, ISBN 1 86941 355 5 The American poet Randall

See more ›

Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review
Search by category
Recent issues: subscriber-only access

Subscribe to NZ Books to access the issues above