Blog Archives

The dark night of the decent bloke, Peter Wells

The Scornful Moon Maurice Gee Penguin, $34.95, ISBN 0143018752 Anyone who has heard Maurice Gee read can summon up his tone of voice: discerning, patient and artful. He is a shrewd observer of the human condition with, at times, an…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Their side of the story, Megan Hutching

Fighting with the enemy: New Zealand POWs and the Italian Resistance  Susan Jacobs Penguin, $34.95, ISBN 0143018620 On 10 July 1943 Allied forces attacked Italy, landing in Sicily. Two weeks later the Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini was overthrown in an…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, War

The historian who opened our eyes, Jock Phillips

Michael King I got to know Michael King as a student at Victoria University in the mid-1960s. It was an exciting time. There was marching in the streets, heated late-night discussions over instant coffee. We were getting out from under.…
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Editorial — Issue 63

A funny sort of pride This is an unusual issue of New Zealand Books, dominated by the loss of two of our pre-eminent writers. When Janet Frame died in January, we decided to commemorate her achievement in this June issue…
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The “Frame effect”, Patrick Evans

The most famous of Janet Frame’s poems is probably the one about the little boy dying of leukaemia, “Yet Another Poem About a Dying Child”, which ends with the appearance of Death as a giant spider which gobbles the child…
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A slippery no-man, Owen Marshall

Enduring legacy – Charles Brasch, patron, poet and collector (ed) Donald Kerr University of Otago Press in association with University of Otago Library, $39.95, ISBN 1877276650 Several years ago at a reunion of those who had held Otago University’s Robert…
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Posted in Biography, Literature, Non-fiction, Review

Poem — C K Stead

Takapuna (Janet Frame 1924-2004)   So, old friend, you’ve come to it at last (Ron Mason’s line, and now an echo of Yeats!). How does it feel to feel nothing? No one will ask you to read, no unmarked sheet…
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Posted in Poem

Poem — Gregory O’Brien

Dominion    From the morning’s politicians as they are delivered unto us shrink-wrapped and bouncing across the lawns of Hataitai deliver us, o lord—from the brash and unhumble who fall face-first, and whom daily we extract from mulch and puddle,…
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Poem — Jan Kemp

Staunch (i.m. Michael King 1945 – 2004 & Maria Jungowska 1949 – 2004)   I’d have wished you a gentler death in keeping with generosity & deft, liquid speech, yours of right, Michael, not this bizarre fireballing out, though your…
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Posted in Poem

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
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