Blog Archives

Myself alone, Louise O’Brien

Landscape with Solitary Figure Shonagh Koea Vintage, $30.00, ISBN 9781775535881 Shonagh Koea’s novel Landscape with Solitary Figure is concerned with themes of domestic trauma, emotional unhappiness, withdrawal and solitude, written with a careful attention to detail which mires the reader…
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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

Satiric barbs and Danish cross-stitch, Margot Schwass

Change of heart Barbara Anderson Victoria University Press, $27.95, ISBN 0864734662 yet another ghastly christmas Shonagh Koea Vintage, $26.95, ISBN 186941568X These new novels by Barbara Anderson and Shonagh Koea sit comfortably together, like well-chosen china teacups. Their worlds have…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Werewolf beneath the tweed, Barbara Else

Time for a Killing  Shonagh Koea Vintage, $24.95, ISBN 1869414659 Over the last few years, I’ve declined invitations to review New Zealand books for two reasons. First, the local world of writing and publishing is very small. If you don’t…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

The emptiness within, Heather Murray

The Lonely Margins of the Sea Shonagh Koea Vintage, $29.95, ISBN 1 86941 348 2 On the lonely margins of society, Shonagh Koea’s women conduct their lives. It is a rich territory evidently, for after five novels and two volumes…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Myths of reason and culture, Heather Murray

The Heart’s Wild Surf Stephanie Johnson Vintage/Random House, $24.95, ISBN 1 86941 278 8 A Fancy Man  Sue McCauley Vintage/Random House, $24.95, ISBN 1 86941 283 4 The Wedding at Bueno-Vista  Shonagh Koea Vintage/Random House, $24.95, ISBN 1 86941 282…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Varying power and art, Kim Worthington

Between Friends Linda Burgess University of Otago Press, $24.95 Cowrie Cathie Dunsford Tandem Press, $19.95 In Translation Annamarie Jagose Victoria University Press $24.95 Sing to Me, Dreamer Shonagh Koea Random House, $24.95 Having recently returned to New Zealand after several…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Inner worlds, outer worlds, Jane Parkin

Seeing Red Marilyn Duckworth, Vintage, $19.95 Fifteen Rubies by Candlelight Shonagh Koea, Vintage, $19.95 Reading Shonagh Koea’s stories in Fifteen Rubies by Candlelight is like sampling a box of good, rich chocolates. Read (or eat) too many at once and…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Minnie Mouse plays Anna Karenina, Iain Sharp

Staying Home and Being Rotten Shonagh Koea, Vintage, $19.95 Unlawful Entry Marilyn Duckworth, Vintage, $19.95 It’s always presumptuous to thrust two authors under a single umbrella. At least in the present instance one can point, by way of excuse, to…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

15 writers: ‘You must read this’

Tell us about the book you want to give everyone for Christmas and/or the book you hope no one gives you for Christmas, we asked twenty-four of our top writers and critics. Fifteen of them dared to respond.   Jenny…
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Posted in Opinion
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