Blog Archives

Revelling in idiosyncrasy, Diane Brown

The Bag Lady’s Picnic Frankie McMillan Shoal Bay Press, $24.95, ISBN 1877251097 Creative Juices. New Writing  ed Emma Neale Flamingo, $29.95, ISBN 1869504100 “We want more Kiwi dialogues,” my advanced ESOL class told me. I toyed with the idea of

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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review and Short stories

World-class in Timaru, Mark Williams

Chemistry Damien Wilkins Victoria University Press, $29.95, ISBN 0864734271 In a 1913 guide book, Forest and Ice, Blanche Baughan describes the Franz Josef glacier: “the grandeur of great, ordained descent, embodied here in a white stairway of the gods, magnificently

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Posted in Fiction, Literature and Review

A better class of hoon, Mark Broatch

Stonedogs Craig Marriner Random House, $26.95, ISBN 1869414764 I donned my beanie before writing this review. It seemed only fitting. Part of the challenge of this book is its subject matter: drunken, stoned hoons, racing around the country in an

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Posted in Fiction, Literature and Review

“Ikey” and I, Paul Morris

At the Edge of Memory: A Family Story Michael King Penguin, $34.95, ISBN 0143018159 In his new book, Michael King revisits his Kiwi Irish Catholic background, focusing on his experiences of anti-semitism. Nuns explained that God had withdrawn His blessing

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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction and Review

Poem — Cilla McQueen

Warp   I couldn’t hear myself think when the storm came over and the roof became a giant drum. Thunder rocked the house. Capricious lightning reached a finger into my computer, knocked out the modem and set the date back

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Posted in Poem

The missing alternative, Tim Hazledine

At The Crossroads: Three Essays Jane Kelsey Bridget Williams Books, $34.95, ISBN 1877242918 Re-launching his New Left Review for the new millennium, the veteran British socialist Perry Anderson conceded with apparent equanimity that “the only starting point for a realistic

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Posted in Non-fiction, Politics & Law and Review

The trouble with Harry, Catherine Hill

Tomorrow Tastes Better Russell Haley HarperCollins, $19.95, ISBN 1869503910 The English Harem  Anthony McCarten Random House, $26.95, ISBN 1869414640 What exactly is a comic novel? The question arises because comedy is the common feature of Tomorrow Tastes Better and The

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Posted in Fiction, Literature and Review

Charms and riddles, Kathryn Walls

Another 100 New Zealand Poems for Children ed Rachel McAlpine (illustrated David Elliot) Random House, $24.95, ISBN 1869414853 Like its evidently popular predecessor, this anthology is invitingly presented. Hard covers announce that it is meant to be kept for long-term

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Posted in Children, Literature, Poetry and Review

Small shoes; small reviews: media treatment of children’s literature, Barbara Mabbett

It is a truth universally acknowledged that value of labour is associated with size of client: children’s nurses and teachers, for instance, are almost always paid less that those who nurse or teach people whose shoes and wallets are somewhat

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Posted in Comment

On the Main Trunk Line, Charlotte Yates

An Ordinary Joker: the life and songs of Peter Cape ed Roger Steele Steele Roberts, $59.95, ISBN 1877228125 For a singer, Peter Cape has always struck me as an anomaly, with his thin nasal tenor, tentative tuning, and strongly defective

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Posted in Biography, Music, Non-fiction and Review
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