Blog Archives

A lonely Orpheus, Liam McIlvanney

The Snake-Haired Muse: James K Baxter and Classical Myth Geoffrey Miles, John Davidson and Paul Millar Victoria University Press, $50.00, ISBN 9780864736581   “What happens is either meaningless to me, or it is mythology.” Though James K Baxter’s vatic pronouncement…
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Posted in Literature, Non-fiction, Poetry, Review

The unforgiving minute, Stephanie de Montalk and Melissa Moon

Running Writing Robinson David Carnegie, Paul Millar, David Norton and Harry Ricketts (eds) Victoria University Press, S40.00, ISBN 9780864736390   This book celebrates the distinguished athletic and academic careers of Roger Robinson – the English, Cambridge-educated essayist, editor and literary…
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Posted in Essays, Non-fiction, Review

Being a bard, Dougal McNeill

Selected Poems of James K Baxter Paul Millar (ed) Auckland University Press, $40.00, ISBN 9781869404611 Maurice Shadbolt called Baxter “a Bard, our only one”. It’s unusual now to read the term used without irony or self-consciously distancing care; but, with…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

The man who wished to be other, C K Stead

No Fretful Sleeper – A Life of Bill Pearson Paul Millar Auckland University Press, $59.99, ISBN 97818690404192  It must have been 40 years ago that Bill Pearson told me an anecdote about his first days at school. When he reached…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Obituary — J C Sturm

J C Sturm (1927-2009) In 1927 a daughter was born at Opunake in Taranaki to a young Maori couple named Mary and Jack Papuni. They named their baby Te Kare, but the little girl would never know her mother, who…
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Posted in Obituaries

After the gold rush, Elaine Clark

East by South: China in the Australasian Imagination ed Charles Ferrall, Paul Millar and Keren Smith Victoria University Press, $49.95, ISBN 0864734913 Southeast Asia and New Zealand: A History of Regional and Bilateral Relations ed Anthony L Smith New Zealand…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review, Sociology

Carnage on the coast, Paul Millar

Nine New Zealand Novellas  ed Peter Simpson Reed, $39.95, ISBN 0790009927 I’m not going to begin with a long, theorised discussion if the novella; there’s plenty of that around, and Peter Simpson’s introduction explores some of the key issues surrounding…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review, Short stories

Pearson biography funded

Paul Millar of Wellington has won the 2003 Copyright Licensing Limited (CLL) Writer’s Award to work on a biography of writer Bill Pearson. The $35,000 non-fiction award will allow Dr Millar to scale down his work as senior lecturer in…
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Posted in Comment

The terror of the ordinary, Paul Millar

A Needle in the Heart Fiona Kidman Vintage, $26.95, ISBN 186941523X The six stories in A Needle in the Heart confirm Fiona Kidman’s place among the top tier of New Zealand short story writers. This is no small success as…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review, Short stories

Young Jim, W H Oliver

Spark to a Waiting Fuse: James K Baxter’s correspondence with Noel Ginn 1942-1946 ed Paul Millar Victoria University Press, $49.95, ISBN 086473400X I began this book thinking that a shorter one might have been enough for a smallish collection of…
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Posted in Letters, Literature, Poetry, Review
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