Blog Archives

Where’s Rewi? Mary Roberts 

White Ghosts, Yellow Peril: China and New Zealand 1790–1959 Stevan Eldred-Grigg with Zeng Dazheng Otago University Press, $55.00, ISBN 9781877578656 Stevan Eldred-Grigg and Zeng Dazheng have, in some respects, written the book that I’ve been waiting for. This is a…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Sociology

The resilience of children, Ann Beaglehole

Frederick’s Coat Alan Duff Vintage, $38.00, ISBN 9781869415662 Bangs Stevan Eldred-Grigg Penguin, $30.00, ISBN 9780143568063 Waiting for Elizabeth Joan Rosier-Jones Tangerine Publications, $30.00, ISBN 9780987664617 Alan Duff is one of our most esteemed writers. His best-known novel Once Were Warriors…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Minding the gap, Tom Brooking

People, People, People: A Brief History of New Zealand Stevan Eldred-Grigg David Bateman, $24.95, ISBN 9781869538132 In 1980 Stevan Eldred-Grigg wrote a provocative study of the great estate owners of the South Island which proved beyond any semblance of doubt…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

Myth and memory, Edmund Bohan

Shattered Glory: The New Zealand Experience at Gallipoli and the Western Front Matthew Wright Penguin Books, $45.00, ISBN 9780143020561   The Great Wrong War: New Zealand Society in WWI  Stevan Eldred-Grigg Random House, $55.00, ISBN 9781869792633   In 2007 the…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, War

Drawing-room stories, Stevan Eldred-Grigg

Old South: Life and Times in the Nineteenth-century Mainland Matthew Wright Penguin Books, $50.00, ISBN 9780143006510 Old South is a work that should be a welcome newcomer to the growing list of leading titles in New Zealand history. The book…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

Bright fine gold, Peter Calder

Diggers, Hatters and Whores: The Story of the New Zealand Gold Rushes Stevan Eldred-Grigg Random House, $55.00, ISBN 9781869419257 In the closing pages of this comprehensive, even magisterial, historical survey, the author quotes the observation by Joan Stevens in The…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

A less than perky light, Stevan Eldred-Grigg

Gith Chris Else Random House, $27.99, ISBN 9781869790134 Show of Hands Anthony McCarten Random House, $29.99, ISBN 9781869419950 Swimmer’s Rope  Stephanie Johnson Random House, $29.99, ISBN 9781869790257 At the first look there’s not much to tie these three novels together.…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Counterpunching King, Stevan Eldred-Grigg

No Left Turn: The Distortion of New Zealand’s History by Greed, Bigotry and Right Wing Politics Chris Trotter Random House, $36.99, ISBN 9781869418090 This book is a riposte, a counterpunch in a sparring match between spokesmen for two ideologies. It’s…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

Ripping yarns, Stevan Eldred-Grigg

Fatal Frontiers: A New History of New Zealand in the Decade Before the Treaty Paul Moon Penguin Books, $39.95, ISBN 0143020595 “New Zealand was undergoing an identity crisis in the 1830s,” writes Paul Moon on the first page of his…
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Posted in History, Māori, Non-fiction, Review

Various elsewheres, Michael Hulse

Degrees of Separation Laurence Fearnley Penguin, $28.00, ISBN 0143020579 Relative Strangers Emma Neale Vintage, $27.99, ISBN 1869417828 Work in Progress Paul Thomas Black Swan, $27.99, ISBN 1869418255 Shanghai Boy Stevan Eldred-Grigg Vintage, $27.99, ISBN 1869417933   If I didn’t know…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review
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