Blog Archives

Cooked up, Stuart Murray

The Long Forgetting: Post-colonial Literary Culture in New Zealand Patrick Evans Canterbury University Press, $34.50,  ISBN 9781877257698 Approximately halfway through Patrick Evans’ study comes a paragraph that, upon reflection, more or less sums up the way the book works. The…
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Posted in History, Literature, Non-fiction, Review

Poem — Brian Turner

High Windows If you want to compliment someone call him grounded.  If you want to do him a favour  pray that there’s more order than chaos, more love    than hatred and resentment in his life, that  transfiguration and redemption are…
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Posted in Poem

Snapshots, Christine Johnston

The Best New Zealand Fiction Volume 4 Fiona Farrell (ed),  Vintage, $34.99, ISBN 9781869418779 The Girl Who Proposed: New Short Stories Elizabeth Smither Cape Catley, $29.99, ISBN 9781877340130 Here and There, Now and Then Isa Moynihan Earl of Seacliff Art…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review, Short stories

Pebbles at the window, Elizabeth Smither

Elizabeth Smither urges writers to recognise the rewards of rejection.  I once spoke to a writer who assured me he had never had a rejection slip. Years later I met an editor who told me he had received frequent submissions…
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Posted in Comment

All aboard, Don Aimer

Trainland: How Railways Made New Zealand Neill Atkinson Random House, $39.99, ISBN 9781869419059 I’ve always loved trains. A job in Timaru once in the days of steam had me driving regularly to Oamaru. North of the Waitaki River the main…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Good dog! Norman Bilbrough

Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy Lynley Dodd Mallinson Rendel, $30.00,  ISBN 9781877423147 Beginner writers often think that writing a picture book must be easy. But a story – any story – needs drafts and more drafts before it is ready…
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Posted in Children, Literature, Review

Ngati Peking, Charles Ferrall

Being Maori-Chinese: Mixed Identities Manying Ip Auckland University Press, $45.00,  ISBN 9781869403997 Many of the nearly 5,000 people who claim Maori-Chinese ancestry in Aotearoa New Zealand have a similar genealogy or whakapapa. During the 1920s and 1930s a Chinese man…
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Posted in Māori, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Obituary — Gerry Evans

Gerry Evans (1937-2008) One-time seaman, wharfie and union leader, writer Gerry Evans of Wellington jokingly asked that his ashes be scattered in Karori Library. Born in Wales, he went to sea as a 16-year-old, and didn’t begin writing until 1994,…
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Posted in Obituaries

No easy heroics, James Norcliffe

Shadow of the Mountain  Anna Mackenzie Longacre Press, $18.99, ISBN 9781877460005 Smashed  Mandy Hager Random House, $18.99, ISBN 9781869419424 Gool  Maurice Gee Puffin, $19.95, ISBN 9780143304005   Each of these kidult novels tells a compelling story in a tightly written yet…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review, Young adults

The Dr Johnson of New Zealand literature, Michael Hulse

Book Self C K Stead Auckland University Press, $38.99,  ISBN 9781869404123 It isn’t in the spirit of the age that a Goethe will still attract his Eckermann, or a Dr Johnson his Boswell. A companion free of all other commitments,…
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Posted in Literature, Non-fiction, Review
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