Blog Archives

Here be gods, monsters and mortals, David Eggleton

Pūrākau: Māori Myths Retold By Māori Writers Witi Ihimaera and Whiti Hereaka (eds) Penguin Random House, $38.00, ISBN 9780143772965 In Pūrākau: Māori Myths Retold By Māori Writers, the retelling of mythic stories is a communal activity, with one storyteller picking…
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Posted in Literature, Māori, Review

On not relying on truthiness, Brian Easton 

A Conversation With My Country Alan Duff Penguin Random House, $39.00, ISBN 9780143773269 In 1990, a comet brightened the New Zealand literary scene and society with the publication of Alan Duff’s Once Were Warriors, for it involved both an extraordinary…
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Posted in Māori, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

And on the strangest sea, Paul Moon

New Zealand and the Sea: Historical Perspectives  Frances Steel (ed) Bridget Williams Books, $60.00, ISBN 9780947518707 Ocean: Tales of Voyaging and Encounter that Defined New Zealand Sarah Ell Penguin Random House, $70.00, ISBN 9780143772675 Most histories of nations tend to…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

Why Y? David Hill

Ursa Tina Shaw Walker Books, $23.00, ISBN 9781760651244 Invisibly Breathing Eileen Merriman Penguin Random House, $20.00, ISBN 9780143772859 Flight of the Fantail Steph Matuku Huia, $30.00, ISBN 9781775503521 An unspecified number of years back at a Going West Festival, I…
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Posted in Literature, Review, Young adults

Modern love, Hannah Marshall

Invisibly Breathing Eileen Merriman Penguin Random House, $20.00, ISBN 9780143772859 Invisibly Breathing is Eileen Merriman’s third novel, and it offers more than your typical romance. Bullying, homophobia and being an outsider – Merriman tackles plenty of tough topics in this…
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Posted in Literature, Review, YA Reviewers, Young adults

Looking forward, Tim Hazledine

The Big Questions: What is New Zealand’s Future?  Various authors Penguin Random House, $38.00 ISBN 9780143772378 I’ve been worrying about Trump. Not the man – a lost cause, that – but the movement: Trumpism – the apparently bigoted, intolerant, resentful…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Balancing pathos, Janet Wilson

This Mortal Boy: A Novel Fiona Kidman Penguin Random House, $38.00, ISBN 9780143771807 In This Mortal Boy (with its subtle, sad echo of Brendan Behan’s novel, Borstal Boy), Fiona Kidman gives a semi-fictional reconstruction of the highly publicised case of…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Beyond the pale, Kathryn Walls

Heloise Mandy Hager Penguin Random House, $38.00, ISBN 9780143770992 Heloise is Mandy Hager’s reconstruction in novelistic terms of the lives of the 12th-century lovers Heloise and Abelard, told from Heloise’s point of view. While both Abelard and Heloise read a…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Connecting kindred tribes, David Eggleton

Black Marks on the White Page Witi Ihimaera and Tina Makereti (eds) Penguin Random House, $40.00, ISBN 9780143770299 Billed as a guidebook to the contemporary literature of Oceania, Black Marks on the White Page is not quite that; it’s too…
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Posted in Art, Literature, Māori, Non-fiction, Pacific, Short stories

More than just the usual, Flora Fan

Pieces of You  Eileen Merriman Penguin Random House, $20.00, ISBN 9780143770473   Pieces of You is a typical YA coming-of-age novel that surprisingly offers more than a cliché. Not least, it is uniquely set in the familiar setting of Auckland.…
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Posted in Literature, Review, Young adults
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