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War stories, Anne Else

Passing Through Coral Atkinson Dancing Tuatara, $35.00, ISBN 9780473262693 Heartland Jenny Pattrick Black Swan, $37.00, ISBN 9781775535850 Tropic of Guile Sue McCauley Xlibris, $42.00, ISBN 9781483683195 All three of these novels centre on hard-won survival against the odds of poverty,…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Writing on the high wire, Sue McCauley

The Score Adrienne Jansen Escalator Press, $28.00, ISBN 978047325328 The Virgin & the Whale Carl Nixon Vintage, $38.00, ISBN 9781775533757 I’m Working on a Building Pip Adam Victoria University Press, $30.00, ISBN 9780864738981 When more than one book is featured…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Bovver boys

What they wrote A taste of contributor comments over our first 20 years   On New Zealand Books My hope is that New Zealand Books will provide a forum for frank discussion that dares to rise above the suffocating confines…
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Posted in Comment

A dollop of literary life, Sue McCauley

Beside the Dark Pool Fiona Kidman Vintage, $37.99, ISBN 9781869790592 Such a seductive title for a memoir, hinting at murky depths of angst, turmoil and scandal. The stuff we hope, in fact expect, to find in the autobiography of a…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Darts and sledgehammers, Sue McCauley

Two Little Boys Duncan Sarkies Penguin Books, $28.00, ISBN 9780143020912 Acid Song Bernard Beckett Longacre Press, $29.99, ISBN 9781877460111 Girlie Gillian Ranstead Penguin Books, $28.00, ISBN 9780143010005 “I thought it was one of those boys’ books,” said a friend when…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Author as dinner companion, Sue McCauley

The Cowboy Dog Nigel Cox Victoria University Press, $29.95, ISBN 0864735448 The Fainter Damien Wilkins Victoria University Press, $29.95, ISBN 0864735308 In a way the titles say it all. It’s as if, in naming these novels (Cox’s sixth, Wilkins’ fifth),…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

OM – pride of the south, Sue McCauley

Watch of Gryphons and Other Stories Owen Marshall Vintage, $27.95, ISBN 1869417062 Occasional: 50 Poems Owen Marshall Hazard, $25, ISBN 187727089X In 1979 I reviewed – I think for the New Zealand Listener – a slim book entitled Supper Waltz…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Poetry, Review, Short stories

Short lives on earth, Rebecca J Davies

Life on Earth Sue McCauley Vintage, $26.95, ISBN 1869415493 Water Bernard Steeds Penguin, $27.95, ISBN 0143018353 The Chandrasekhar Limit and other stories Sugu Pillay The Writers Group, price unavailable, ISBN 0473087316 There is a common misconception that big themes require…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Limbering up, Anne French

It could be You Sue McCauley Vintage, $24.95, ISBN 1 86962 008 9 The Mathematics of Jane Austen Elizabeth Smither Godwit, $24.95, ISBN 1 86941 317 2 Remember Me Linda Burgess Otago University Press, $21.95, ISBN 1 877 13335 3…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

War, love and self, Jane Stafford

Blood Money: the incredible true story of David Morris and the tragedy of Somalia  Trisha Stratford Penguin Books, $24.95, ISBN 0 140 26323 3 Escape from Bosnia: Aza’s Story Sue McCauley Shoal Bay Press, $29.95, ISBN 0 908704 42 9…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review
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