Blog Archives

Frame with a lighter hand, Mark Williams

Book Book  Fiona Farrell Vintage, $26.95, ISBN 1869416198 I associate being in Christchurch with knowing Fiona Farrell. Both of us came down from provincial North Island cities, Hamilton and Palmerston North, in the early 1990s. I came to teach in…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

The necessity of lying, Mark Williams

Surfaces of Strangeness: Janet Frame and the Rhetoric of Madness Simone Oettli-van Delden Victoria University Press, $39.95, ISBN 0864734565 Albert Wendt and Pacific Literature: Circling the Void Paul Sharrad Auckland University Press, $44.99, ISBN 1869403037 For a supposedly puritanical country…
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Posted in Literature, Non-fiction, Review

World-class in Timaru, Mark Williams

Chemistry Damien Wilkins Victoria University Press, $29.95, ISBN 0864734271 In a 1913 guide book, Forest and Ice, Blanche Baughan describes the Franz Josef glacier: “the grandeur of great, ordained descent, embodied here in a white stairway of the gods, magnificently…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Asking the hard questions, Mark Williams

The Writer at Work: Essays C K Stead Otago University Press, $39.95, ISBN 1877133957   I write on a Waitangi Day on which the Prime Minister has chosen to attend celebrations in Wellington and Auckland but not at Waitangi. The…
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Posted in Essays, Literature, Non-fiction, Review

Magic realism, Mark Williams

This House Has Three Walls Lloyd Jones Victoria University Press, $19.95, ISBN 0 86473 321 6 There is a story, possibly apocryphal, that during World War II some captured Japanese prisoners were taken by train from Auckland to the Wairarapa…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

The making of a ‘too hospitable’ canon, Mac Jackson

An Anthology of New Zealand Poetry in English ed Jenny Bornholdt, Gregory O’Brien and Mark Williams Oxford University Press, $49.95, ISBN 0 19 558338 8 “I cannot think that real poets have any competition,”  wrote Blake. But we lesser mortals…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

How many cultures make a culture? Mark Williams

Australians have been encouraged over the last decade to identify their economic destiny with Asia. Their last Prime Minister even had a habit of pointing to maps and proclaiming that Australia was part of Asia. The cultural and economic redirections…
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Posted in Comment, Non-fiction

The power of words and rituals, Ruth Butterworth

The Source of the Song. New Zealand Writers on Catholicism Mark Williams (ed) Auckland University Press, $24.95 ISBN 086473 2872 Catholicism as a “cultural force”? Andrew Johnston very properly has trouble with the whole notion of a separable entity. Anne…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Religion, Review

Local practice v wider trends, Stuart Murray

Opening the Book: New Essays on New Zealand Writing Mark Williams and Michele Leggott (eds) Auckland University Press, $39.95, ISBN 1869401158 Ending the Silences: Critical Essays on the Works of Maurice Shadbolt Ralph J Crane (ed) Hodder Moa Beckett, $24.95,…
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Posted in Literature, Review

A variety of voices, Mark Williams

100 New Zealand Poems Bill Manhire (ed), Godwit, $29.95 Some years ago I edited a small anthology of New Zealand poetry. It was a truly hellish experience. Some poets wanted to know how much space had been given to rivals,…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review
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