Blog Archives

Christmas crackers, Celia Dunlop

This selection of good New Zealand books worth considering for children at Christmas is made from titles which have appeared or won awards in the last year. The choice was based on the book’s overall quality, potential pleasure as a

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Posted in Children, Literature and Young adults

Simple fact or subtle fiction? William Broughton

The Quick World, Autobiography Volume 3 Lauris Edmond, Bridget Williams Books, $29.95 The Quick World completes Lauris Edmond’s promised autobiographical trilogy, and documents the most recent 15 or so years of her life. I find that I have come more and

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Posted in Autobiography, Non-fiction and Review

The woman question, Patricia Sargison

Kate Sheppard: A Biography. The fight for women‘s votes in New Zealand: the life of the woman who led the struggle Judith Devaliant, Penguin, $34.95 Recognition of the role Kate Sheppard played in New Zealand history has been slow, and

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Posted in Biography, Gender, History, Non-fiction, Review and Sociology

Imported and adapted, Gavin McLean

The Chapman Legal Family Peter Spiller, Victoria University Press, $39.95 Waikato law professor Peter Spiller’s book examines the legal careers of Henry Samuel Chapman and his two sons, Frederick, the first New Zealand-born Supreme Court judge, and Martin, founder of

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Posted in Biography, History, Non-fiction and Review

The fall of a decent joker, Michael Gifkins

The Autobiography of My Father Martin Edmond, Auckland University Press, $29.95 There is an entry in the book of New Zealand literary politics which reads: Edmond, Trevor, schoolteacher, husband of Lauris, poet (late-flowering); father of (inter alia) Martin, scriptwriter, see

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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction and Review

Reading pictures, Jane Clendon

Colonial Constructs: European Images of Maori 1840-1914 Leonard Bell, Auckland University Press, $69.95 The language of art historical discourse has become more complex and demanding since Leonard Bell published his first book, The Maori in European Art, in 1980. Now, it

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Posted in History, Maori, Non-fiction and Review

Who to leave out – at last, Ian Richards

The Oxford Book of New Zealand Short Stories Vincent O’Sullivan (ed), Oxford University Press, $39.95 Anthologies used to be an occasion for cautious celebration in the New Zealand literary circle. Historical anthologies clearly showed that with every writer we were

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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review and Short stories

Publisher Profiles 5, Staying alive: the house of McIndoe, Lynley Hood

There’s been a subtle change in the south. Over the past month, without any fanfare, Dunedin-based John McIndoe Ltd – the South Island’s biggest publishing house – has become McIndoe Publishers. The three women who now run the firm wanted

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Posted in Imprints

Big questions: part answers, James Norcliffe

Why Things Fall Chris Else, Tandem, $24.95 Love and War Elspeth Sandys, Vintage, $24.95 Jim’s Elvis Colleen Reilly, John McIndoe, $19.95 Why Things Fall at first glance seems quite a departure from Chris Else’s earlier ficciones, Dreams of Pythagoras (1981). Grounded in a

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Posted in Fiction, Literature and Review
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