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Whose pain? Sarah Ross

Strip
Sue Wootton
Mākaro, $40.00,
ISBN 9780994123756

To spend the duration of Sue Wootton’s Strip in the presence of her protagonist, Dr Harvey Wright, is not an entirely comfortable experience. Harvey is a community GP who is dissatisfied in an unspectacular kind of way – a little ground down by the reality of keeping up a practice, a little paunchy, in a marriage grappling with unsuccessful IVF – when he becomes, in the novel’s opening page, a cartoonist. The medical magazine Health Matters takes on his Dr Doctor strip, a monthly funny of a Dad-joke kind, and it is for Harvey as if “a window had cracked open a tad and a puff of fresh air blown in”. Into his baggily comfortable existence, his new identity as a cartoonist injects a “flower-burst of elation”.

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Movement is all, Paula Green

Magnetic South   Sue Wootton Steele Roberts, $24.99, ISBN 9781877448232 Spark   Emma Neale Steele Roberts, $24.99, ISBN 9781877448195 The Propaganda Poster Girl   Amy Brown Victoria University Press, $25.00, ISBN 9780864735744 The World’s Fastest Flower   Charlotte Simmonds Victoria

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Posted in Literature and Poetry

Palate cleansers, Paola Bilbrough

The Violinist in Spring Anna Smaill Victoria University Press, $24.95, ISBN 08647350222 Hourglass Sue Wootton Steele Roberts, $19.95, ISBN 187733877X The Devil in My Shoes Phil Kawana Auckland University Press, $21.99, ISBN 1869403525 Poetry is an elastic genre; there are

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Posted in Literature, Poetry and Review
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