Blog Archives

The art of the odd, Janet Wilson

Swallowing Diamonds Marilyn Duckworth Vintage, $26.95, ISBN 1869415485 In Marilyn Duckworth, New Zealand has its finest writer of the absurd. Although others have written about states of unreality or non-reality – most particularly Janet Frame, younger novelists like Elizabeth Knox,…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Queering the Kiwi bloke’s pitch, Gavin McLean

The Life of Brian: Masculinities, Sexualities and Health in New Zealand ed Heather Worth, Anna Paris and Louisa Allen University of Otago Press, $39.95, ISBN 1877276251 Worlds in Collision: The Gay Debate in New Zealand 1960-1986 Laurie Guy Victoria University…
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Posted in Gender, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Boy’s Own snapshots, Hugh Roberts

Imperial Vistas Family Fictions Kendrick Smithyman Auckland University Press, $24.95, ISBN 186940274X Last Poems  Kendrick Smithyman The Holloway Press, $65, ISBN 095823132X It’s an interesting parlour game to speculate how New Zealand’s literary history might have changed had Kendrick Smithyman…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

Poem — Owen Marshall

The Diogenes Club (In memory of Bill Sewell)   Yes, you will have received an invitation, join the others in the heavy armchairs of the Strangers’ Room. Sherlock, in an upswing mood which analysts today would recognise, will dominate the…
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Posted in Poem

Horace at Kapiti, Roger Robinson

Early in the second of the “Four Letters in Verse” that make up Alistair Te Ariki Campbell’s Poets in Our Youth, the poet is recalling for Harry Orsman how as a boarder at Weir House, I found myself in the…
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Posted in Comment

Light reading, dark lives, Margie Thomson

The Denniston Rose Jenny Pattrick Black Swan, $26.95, ISBN 1869415612 This highly readable historical novel has already had a big thumbs-up from readers, and it’s not hard to understand why. It’s a darkly engaging story that almost constitutes a new…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Letters — Issue 59

Spiteful review Is it surprising that Michael Grimshaw was so destructive in his December 2002 review of Snapshots on the Journey? Perhaps, when we notice the self-promotion of his own anthology, compiled with the help of one of the editors…
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Posted in Letters

Hobson’s choice, Bryan Gilling

Te Ara Ki Te Tiriti: The Path to the Treaty of Waitangi Paul Moon David Ling, $29.95, ISBN 0908990839 The Treaty of Waitangi often appears to have sprung forth, fully formed, from William Hobson’s pen on 6 February 1840. Many…
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Posted in History, Māori, Non-fiction, Review

Truth vs the good story, Laura Kroetsch

Barbed Wire Between Us: A story of love and war Derek Round Random House, $29.95, ISBN 1869415248 Last of the Whalers: Charlie Heberley’s Story Heather Heberley Cape Catley, $29.95, ISBN 0908561903 In Search of Elisa Marchetti: A Writer’s Search for…
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Posted in Autobiography, Biography, History, Non-fiction, Review

Speaking frankly of Frank and James K, Stevan Eldred-Grigg

An Affair of the Heart: A Celebration of Frank Sargeson’s Centenary ed Graeme Lay and Stephen Stratford Cape Catley, $49.99, ISBN 0908561938 O Jerusalem – James K Baxter: An Intimate Memoir Mike Minehan Hazard Press, $24.95, ISBN 1877270385 Two icons…
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Posted in Essays, Literature, Memoir, Non-fiction, Review
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