Blog Archives

Playing at home, John McCrystal

Pearly Gates: A Novel Owen Marshall Vintage, $38.00, ISBN 9780143773153 “Pride goeth before a fall”, so the proverb runs, “and an haughty spirit before destruction”. The prideful one in Owen Marshall’s latest novel is Pat Gates, universally known as “Pearly”.…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Thoughts well-wrought, Damian Love

View from the South Owen Marshall (Grahame Sydney photographer) Vintage, $40.00, ISBN 9780143771845 It often seems to be the case that novelists, when they turn to verse, move with a more relaxed gait, a less self-conscious regard, than those whose…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

“Loneliness was his condition”, Owen Marshall

Notes From the Margins: The West Coast’s Peter Hooper Pat White Frontiers Press, $35.00, ISBN 9780473380663 A journey is a kind of endless forgetting. The boys lived only in the present, seeking a river crossing, probing a thorny thicket for…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, 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

Walking in the real world, Owen Marshall

Dad Art   Damien Wilkins Victoria University Press, $30.00, ISBN 9781776560561 Acoustic engineer Michael Stirling is divorced, in contact through a dating site with apparently grieving Chrissie, tending a father in a dementia unit, living in Wellington’s Sanctum Apartments having lost…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Ticking on by, Catherine Robertson

Carnival Sky Owen Marshall Vintage, $38.00 ISBN 9781775535827 The White Clock Owen Marshall Otago University Press, $25.00, ISBN 9781877578632 Both of Marshall’s latest works centre on confrontations with mortality, and both do a fine job of showing that these are…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Life in the bush, by the bay, Dougal McNeill

Speaking Frankly: The Frank Sargeson Memorial Lectures 2003-2010 Sarah Shieff (ed) Cape Catley, $31.99, ISBN 9781877340277   Celebrating Katherine Mansfield: A Centenary Volume of Essays Gerri Kimber and Janet Wilson (eds) Palgrave Macmillan, $162.00, ISBN 9780230277731   It was a…
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Posted in Essays, Lecture, Literature, Non-fiction, Review

Open secrets, Heather Roberts

The Larnachs Owen Marshall Random House, $39.99, ISBN 978869794972   Meet the Larnachs: Owen Marshall’s choice of title is revealing in its use of the definite article and the plural. Generally, those who know the name Larnach know only one…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Always a price to pay, Elspeth Sandys

Living as a Moon Owen Marshall Vintage, $34.99, ISBN 9781869792510 Opening Owen Marshall’s latest collection of short stories, beginning, somewhat apprehensively, to read, I wondered if the faint niggle I always feel when I read Marshall’s work would stay with…
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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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