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The Hutt Valley takes Manhattan … Murray Bramwell

Book Of Cohen  David Cohen Steele Roberts, $30.00, ISBN 9780947493882 Book Of Cohen is a singular volume with multiple objectives: “This was always going to be a work by one Cohen (that would be me) on another Cohen (that would…
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Posted in Essays, Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Jewels and binoculars, Murray Bramwell

Blood Ties: New and Selected Poems 1963–2016 Jeffrey Paparoa Holman Canterbury University Press, $25.00, ISBN 9781927145883 Dylan Junkie Jeffrey Paparoa Holman Mākaro Press, $25.00, ISBN 9780994137807 It is a harsh fact that we live in a world where there is…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

Love and war, Murray Bramwell

Love as a Stranger Owen Marshall Vintage, $38.00, ISBN 9781775538578 The Antipodeans Greg McGee Upstart Press, $38.00, ISBN 9781927262030 In his captivating new novel, Love as a Stranger, Owen Marshall immediately greets the reader with portents. The epigraph quotes the…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

eSensual readings, Murray Bramwell

Essential New Zealand Poems: Facing the Empty Page Siobhan Harvey, James Norcliffe and Harry Ricketts (eds) Godwit, $45.00, ISBN 9781775534594 So what makes poems essential? In their introduction to this most appealing collection, the three editors mull over the problem…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

Stories from nearby, Murray Bramwell

Two Girls in a Boat Emma Martin Victoria University Press, $35.00, ISBN 9780864738936 Tough Amy Head Victoria University Press, $28.00, ISBN 9780864736987 Tales from the Netherworld Jo Randerson Steele Roberts, $25.00, ISBN 9781877577888 One of the many pleasures of reading…
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Posted in Literature, Review, Short stories

Memory and oxo cubes, Murray Bramwell

The Little Enemy Nicholas Reid Steele Roberts, $29.95, ISBN 9781877577512 A Man Runs into a Woman Sarah Jane Barnett Hue and Cry Press, $25.00, ISBN 9780473213992 The Same as Yes Joan Fleming Victoria University Press, $28.00, ISBN 9780864736987 These three…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

Something nobody counted on, Murray Bramwell

Travesty  Mike Johnson (graphic art, Darren Sheehan) Titus Books, $39.00, ISBN 9781877441134   Fosterling Emma Neale Vintage, $29.99, ISBN 9781869794859   Wulf Hamish Clayton Penguin Books, $30.00, ISBN 9780143206491   Like many futuristic nightmares, the naming of the nihilistic Gaia…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Through the unknown, remembered gate, Murray Bramwell

South-West of Eden: A Memoir 1932-1956 C K Stead Auckland University Press, $45.00, ISBN 9781869404543 It was T S Eliot in “East Coker” who wrote: “In my beginning is my end.” In a quite different, earlier poem, he produced the…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Life cycles, Murray Bramwell

  Somebody Loves Us All Damien Wilkins Victoria University Press, $38.00, ISBN 9780864736161 The title of Damien Wilkins’ sixth novel, Somebody Loves Us All, comes from a line by the American poet Elizabeth Bishop. The poem is called “Filling Station”…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Prizes and short shrifts, Murray Bramwell

Prizes: Selected Short Stories Janet Frame  Vintage, $34.99, ISBN 9781869791131 His Best Stories  Witi Ihimaera Raupo, $ 30.00, ISBN 9780143010906 Essential New Zealand Short Stories  Owen Marshall (ed) Vintage, $40.00, ISBN 97818697791285 There is something unexpectedly but suitably upbeat about…
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Posted in Literature, Review, Short stories
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