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Salted history, Mary Roberts

A Boy of China: In Search of Mao’s Lost Son Richard Loseby HarperCollins, $37.00, ISBN 9781775540885 This is a book that seems at odds with itself. The title tells us that it is about the author’s search for “Mao’s lost

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Posted in Non-fiction, Review

Where’s Rewi? Mary Roberts 

White Ghosts, Yellow Peril: China and New Zealand 1790–1959
Stevan Eldred-Grigg with Zeng Dazheng
Otago University Press, $55.00,
ISBN 9781877578656

Stevan Eldred-Grigg and Zeng Dazheng have, in some respects, written the book that I’ve been waiting for. This is a thorough, readable and comprehensive survey of relations between China and New Zealand in the 19th and first half of the 20th century. It also provides a balanced and enlightening account of the growth of the “traditional” Chinese community in New Zealand: that is, the largely Cantonese community that New Zealanders of my generation (born in the 1950s) and older knew as the New Zealand Chinese. The New Zealand Chinese community is now made up of people whose origins are from all over the Sinophone world, but for many decades its members were largely from three small areas of Guangdong (Canton) province.

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Sociology

Sleeping with a panda, Mary Roberts

New Zealand’s China Experience: Its Genesis, Triumphs, and Occasional Moments of Less than Complete Success Chris Elder (ed) Victoria University Press, $50.00, ISBN 9780864738470 In 1972 New Zealand recognised China: how quaint this now sounds. The echoes of those far-off

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Posted in Non-fiction

Honest words and honest deeds, Mary Roberts

Capes of China Slide Away James Bertram, Auckland University Press, $39.95   James Bertram spent ten years of his long life in Asia. Those years prompt the use of Auden’s quotation as the title of his book and occupy over

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Posted in Autobiography, Non-fiction, Review
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