Blog Archives

Lost voices and parodic games, Harry Ricketts

Gipsy: A Fictional Sequence of Poems Kathleen Gallagher, Nag’s Head Press, $22.50 This is an unusual book, not least because it is so handsome an artefact. Hardbound, beautifully produced, illustrated with evocative linocuts by David Nepia, Gipsy is not the…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

Colonial views, Gavin McLean

Massacre Bay: A 19th Century Saga of Colonial Life Ken Gunn, The Book Guild, $39.95 Ken Gunn’s handsomely produced hardback historical novel, Massacre Bay, takes us back to the early days of Pakeha settlement in Nelson province. It tells the…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

‘Womanly skills and small-scale economies’ – old assumptions and fresh perspectives, Margot Roth

Margot Roth reviews a major suffrage year publication, and briefly comments on the difficulties of book reviewing in New Zealand.   Women Together: A History of Women’s Organisations in New Zealand ‑ Nga Ropu Wahine o te Motu Anne Else…
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Posted in Gender, History, Non-fiction, Review

Goodies and baddies, Barbara Murison

Johnny Whistler and the Royal Ruby Circus and Johnny Whistler and the Whizzbang Tandem Race Tom Bradley, HarperCollins (Tui), each $10.95 The Tom Bradley who enters our sitting rooms as a television newsreader is also a writer of some productivity.…
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Posted in Children, Fiction, Literature, Review

Distance and dislocation, Patricia Glensor

Best Friends Elspeth Sandys, David Ling Publishing, $19.95 Dunedin Shena Mackay, Penguin, $19.95 Both of these books deal with distance – within relationships and across time and space – and with dislocation, of various and at times particularly Antipodean kinds.…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Elusive birds beautifully depicted, Pat Quinn

Moa: The Story of a Fabulous Bird PhilipTemple and Chris Gaskin, Hodder & Stoughton, $11.95 Old Blue: The Rarest Bird in the World Mary Taylor, Ashton Scholastic, $19.95 The South Island ‘sightings’ of the elusive moa provide a timely context…
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Posted in Children, Natural History, Review

Modern Helen of Troy disappoints, Stephanie Edmond

The Iron Mouth Beryl Fletcher, Daphne Brasell Associates Press, $32.95 The Iron Mouth, Beryl Fletcher’s second story in a trilogy of feminist novels, is written on two levels. On one level, it is a simple novel about a crowd of…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

A kiwi space drama, Trevor Agnew

Deepwater Landing Ken Catran, Harper Collins (Tui), $14.95 Ken Catran is the unsung artisan of young adult writing in this country. He has been writing television scripts (Children of the Dog Star), novels (Steel riders) and film scripts (Alex) for…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review, Young adults

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

Vivid pictures of 19th century New Zealand, Kay Harrison

Swag and Tucker Margaret Hall, McIndoe Publishers, $18.95 The Runaway Settlers Elsie Locke, Hazard Press, $16.95 These delightful books, set in New Zealand’s colonial days, bring to life the harsh and tender experiences of families in the New Zealand of…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review, Young adults
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