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Obituary – Peter Wells (1950-2019)

Obituary Peter Wells (1950-2019) Siobhan Harvey Into the apparent silence of diverse voices in Aotearoa New Zealand literature, award-winning novelist, essayist, historian, anthologist, filmmaker and playwright, Peter Wells spoke. His was an articulation which, in life, was strong, uncompromising, inquisitive,…
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Posted in Obituaries

“A kind of undressing”, Elspeth Sandys

Dear Oliver: Uncovering a Pākehā History Peter Wells Massey University Press, $40.00, ISBN 9780994143 Peter Wells is a wonderful writer, and this is almost a wonderful book. Writing a family memoir (or, as the author calls this particular memoir, Uncovering…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

“The retrospective glance”, Bronwyn Dalley

Journey to a Hanging: The Events that Set New Zealand Race Relations Back by a Century Peter Wells Vintage, $45.00 ISBN 9781775533900 As a child, I owned a Webster’s Illustrated Dictionary. My brother had bought it in mail-order instalments over…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, 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

What we call the past, Martin Edmond

The Hungry Heart: Journeys with William Colenso Peter Wells Vintage, $49.99, ISBN 9781869794743   Give Your Thoughts Life: William Colenso’s Letters to the Editor  Ian St George (ed) Otago University Press, $60.00, ISBN 9781877578144   The Greek word historia, from…
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Posted in Biography, History, Letters

Bovver boys

What they wrote A taste of contributor comments over our first 20 years   On New Zealand Books My hope is that New Zealand Books will provide a forum for frank discussion that dares to rise above the suffocating confines…
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Posted in Comment

Meeting the ancestors, Peter Wells

A new history of homosexuality prompts Peter Wells to look back on his early life as a gay New Zealander.   It’s probably a reflection on the heft of a book that it makes you question your own sense of the…
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Posted in Comment

Scarred by difference, Ruth Nichol

Lucky Bastard Peter Wells Vintage, $27.99, ISBN 9781869419431 At a recent funeral for a friend’s father many of us were surprised – and surprisingly moved – when a uniformed soldier played The Last Post. It struck a sombre note during…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Self-portrait with wooden spoon, Lois Daish

The Kindness of Strangers: Kitchen Memoirs Shonagh Koea (illustrations by Peter Wells) Vintage, $34.99, ISBN 9781869419189  It wasn’t in her own mother’s kitchen that the young Shonagh found out food could make her happy. Things at home were a bit…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Invitation to a smorgasbord, Christine Johnston

The Cat’s Whiskers: New Zealand Writers on Cats ed Peter Wells Random House, $29.95, ISBN 1869417453 The Best New Zealand Fiction Volume 2 ed Fiona Kidman Random House, $29.95, ISBN 1869417402 Huia Short Stories 6: Contemporary Maori Fiction Huia, $29.95,…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review, Short stories
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