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Letters – Issue 127

Downsizing We hear about the problems of empty nesters, but seldom the difficulties of the bibliophile facing the downsizing of their book collections and the heartache that can ensue. Jane Westaway’s “Cohabiting Libraries” (NZRB Winter 2019) is an apt, amusing…
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Posted in Letters

Lies and damned lies, Gyles Beckford

Truthteller Stephen Davis Exisle Publishing, $30.00, ISBN 9781925335897 “Aren’t we all investigative journalists?” my colleague asked, as we lamented the quality of the coffee at an early hour in the newsroom kitchen. “We’d all like to think so,” I replied.…
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Posted in Media, Non-fiction, Review

Challenging, touching, persuading, Janet Hughes

How I Get Ready Ashleigh Young Victoria University Press, $25.00, ISBN 978176562367 The Dangerous Country Of Love And Marriage Amy Leigh Wicks Auckland University Press, $25.00, ISBN 9781869408978 To The Occupant Emma Neale Otago University Press, $28.00, ISBN 9781988531687 Judging…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

Marking time, Maggie Trapp

When It All Went To Custard Danielle Hawkins HarperCollins, $35.00, ISBN 9781775541417 The Julian Calendar William Henry Marsilio Press, $35.00, ISBN 9780958235556 What a difference a year can make. The plots of Danielle Hawkins’s When It All Went To Custard…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Searching for the whole truth, Bill Hastings 

Shirley Smith: An Examined Life Sarah Gaitanos Victoria University Press, $40.00, ISBN 9781776562176 In Wellington, it is difficult to find a lawyer, judge, or even a member of the Mongrel Mob of a certain age, who does not have a…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Watching the watchers, Ian F Grant

Dead Letters: Censorship And Subversion In New Zealand 1914–1920 Jared Davidson Otago University Press, $35.00, ISBN 9781988531526 Dead Letters contains intriguing detail about a random cast of now-forgotten people who were considered likely subversives in New Zealand during WWI. For…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, War

Diplomat, translator, academic … Ken Ross

From Cairo To Cassino: A Memoir Of Paddy Costello Dan Davin Cold Hub Press, $25.00, ISBN 9780473474485     Paddy Costello’s forte was Russian scholarship. Dan Davin’s was academic publishing. Each acquired other formidable reputations by which they are better known to…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Keeping it in the family, Tina Shaw

Necessary Secrets Greg McGee Upstart Press, $38.00, ISBN 9781988516639 Loving Sylvie Elizabeth Smither Allen and Unwin, $37.00, ISBN 9781988547114 Two recently-published novels explore inter-generational stories, yet there couldn’t be two more different treatments. (more…)
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Poem – Nikki-Lee Birdsey

Birthday Song The date is sharp-edged, I pussyfoot around the real issue, as usual, wasting time on the fat maggots in the Jazz Apple’s core in the trash, how did that happen? How the name Dmitry falls out of symmetry,…
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Posted in Poem

Here be gods, monsters and mortals, David Eggleton

Pūrākau: Māori Myths Retold By Māori Writers Witi Ihimaera and Whiti Hereaka (eds) Penguin Random House, $38.00, ISBN 9780143772965 In Pūrākau: Māori Myths Retold By Māori Writers, the retelling of mythic stories is a communal activity, with one storyteller picking…
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Posted in Literature, Māori, Review
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