Blog Archives

Challenged and challenging, Margaret Tennant

Politics in the Playground Helen May Bridget Williams Books with the New Zealand Council for Educational Research, $39.95, ISBN 1877242187 “Unfortunate Folk”: Essays on Mental Health Treatment 1863-1992 ed Barbara Brookes and Jane Thomson Otago University Press, $39.95, ISBN 187727609X…
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Posted in Education, Health, History, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

The family way, Margot Schwass

Authors’ Choice: Leading New Zealand writers choose their favourite stories – and explain why ed Owen Marshall Penguin, $29.95, ISBN 0141005297 Short short stories, postmodern short stories, short stories by young writers, women writers, gay writers … In recent years,…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review, Short stories

Botrytised emotion, John Huria

Piggy-back Moon Hone Tuwhare Godwit, $29.95, ISBN 1869620771 Hone Tuwhare’s thirteenth collection is the result of his time as Te Mata Estate poet laureate. It isn’t his most consistent vintage, and I have some reservations about a corked poem or…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

The Christchurch Crucible, Greg Newbold

A City Possessed: The Christchurch Civic Creche Case Lynley Hood Longacre Press, $59.95, ISBN 1877135623 At the end of March 1992, when I heard about the arrest of Peter Ellis on a number of charges relating to the sexual abuse…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review, Sociology

Forging an ideology, Philip Temple

Paradise Reforged: A History of the New Zealanders. From the 1880s to the Year 2000 James Belich Allen Lane/ Penguin, $59.95, ISBN 0713991720 One person’s “History of the New Zealanders” over a period of 120 years can never be complete,…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

Winged words, Jane McRae

Nga Pepeha a nga Tipuna: The Sayings of the Ancestors ed Hirini Moko Mead and Neil Grove Victoria University Press, $59.95, ISBN 0864733992 Maori sayings are “ready bits of loftiness and sonority”, to use George Steiner’s apt characterisation of formulaic…
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Posted in History, Language, Māori, Non-fiction, Review

Ghosts and disclosures, Charmaine Pountney

Lesbian Studies in Aotearoa/New Zealand ed Alison Laurie Harrington Park Press, $79.95, ISBN 1560232528 Academic publications are often daunting to lay readers obscure, dense, and obfuscatory. But Lesbian Studies in Aotearoa/New Zealand, a paperback for general readers (co-published simultaneously as…
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Posted in Gender, History, Non-fiction, Review

Butting the trend, Marion McLeod

In the Lifetime of a Goat: Writings 1984 – 2000 Marilyn Waring Bridget Williams Books, $34.95, ISBN 1877242098 Journalism is an ephemeral business. “Today’s news, tomorrow’s fish and chips wrapping” – the saying may be out of date but the…
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Posted in Essays, Gender, Memoir, Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review

Redefining war art, Roger Blackley

I was no soldier: An artist’s war diary Ted Lewis Steele Roberts, $39.95, ISBN 1877228494 I  was no soldier tells the story of an art teacher’s experiences of World War 2. Ted Lewis volunteered in January 1941 for the medical…
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Posted in Art, History, Non-fiction, Review, War

The perils of proximity, Michael Laws

Helen: Portrait of a Prime Minister Brian Edwards Exisle Publishing, $44.95, ISBN 0908988206 Biography is a fraught art. If the subject is dead, then the Author is reliant upon a myriad of sources, often contradictory, to capture the essence of…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review
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