Blog Archives

Whizzbangs and big bangs, Fleur Beale

Follow the blue Brigid Lowry Allen & Unwin, $19.95, ISBN 186508400X Letters from the Coffin Trenches Ken Catran Random House, $16.95, ISBN 1869415094 The Sleeper Wakes David Hill Puffin, $15.95, ISBN 0141313242 The High Wind Blows David Hill Puffin, $15.95,…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review, Young adults

Tripping our light fantastic, Adrienne Simpson

Fantasy and Folly: the lost world of New Zealand musicals 1880-1940 Peter Harcourt Steele Roberts, $39.95, ISBN 1877228656 The dearth of published research on the history of entertainment in New Zealand would be reason enough to welcome the late Peter…
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Posted in History, Music, Non-fiction, Review

Standing tall, Rosemary Norman

Essential New Zealand Short Stories ed Owen Marshall Godwit, $39.95, ISBN 1869620941 There isn’t any compromise with essential, and not much leeway either so it was a relief to read the introduction and find the editor’s explanation for using it…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review, Short stories

Kissing and telling, Chris Else

Within the Kiss Charlotte Randall Penguin, $27.95, ISBN 0141006382 When I was young and stupid, I used to believe that reading a novel meant that you had to try to understand what the author wanted to say. If the writing…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Editorial — Issue 55

Enemies of promise   “Whom the gods wish to destroy they first call promising.” That was Cyril Connolly in 1938, warning of the dangers threatening writers of the time. More specifically, in his ground-breaking part-memoir, part-critical volume Enemies of Promise,…
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Posted in Editorial

Missing Iris, Jane Stafford

The Book of Iris: A Life of Robin Hyde Derek Challis and Gloria Rawlinson Auckland University Press, $69.95, ISBN 1869402677 Often the genesis of a biography is as interesting as the work itself. Robin Hyde died in 1939 in London…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Letters — Issue 55

Removing distinctions of race Richard Hill’s review “Beyond Treaty illiteracy” (August 2002 issue) purports to emphasise the crucial importance of language as a means of communication. Who disagrees? Unfortunately, his review is bizarrely unreadable. He opens with a few general…
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Posted in Letters

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, 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, 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, Review
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