Blog Archives

An end to the “musket wars”, Rawiri Taonui

Taua – Musket wars, land wars, or tikanga? Warfare in Maori society in the early nineteenth century Angela Ballara Penguin, $59.95, ISBN 0143018892 Reviewing R D Crosby’s The Musket Wars: A History of Inter-iwi Conflict 1806-1845 (New Zealand Books, March…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

Earthquakes and adulteries, John Horrocks

Good Luck Anna Livesey Victoria University Press, $24.95, ISBN 086473459X The Adulterer’s Bible Cliff Fell Victoria University Press, $24.95, ISBN 0864734603 Both these collections of poetry come from recent graduates of  Victoria University’s creative writing programme. The publisher is Victoria…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

Southern woman, Anne Else

Sites of Gender: Women, men and modernity in Southern Dunedin, 1890-1939 ed Barbara Brookes, Annabel Cooper, and Robin Law Auckland University Press, $45.00, ISBN 1869403010 More than half the women of south Dunedin – over twice the proportion for New…
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Posted in Gender, History, Non-fiction, Review

Here’s looking at you, kid, John O’Connor

Gallery: A Selection Mark Pirie Salt Publishing, $29.95, ISBN 1876857242 Toku Tinihanga: Selected Poems 1982-2002 Michael O’Leary HeadworX, $26.95, ISBN 0473090066 Walking the Land Kevin Ireland Hazard Press, $21.95, ISBN 1877270520 We live in the age of celebrity. This has…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

Taking to the air, Janet Hughes

Rosalie Gascoigne: Plain Air City Gallery/Victoria University Press, $49.95, ISBN 0864734727 As I shelved Rosalie Gascoigne: Plain Air among my treasured collection of exhibition catalogues, it set me thinking about the reasons we buy catalogues, and the various pleasures they…
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Posted in Art, Non-fiction, Review

Editorial — Issue 64

Catering for the “common reader” The October 1991 issue of New Zealand Books reviewed 6 titles. Twelve years and 57 issues later, the figure was almost exactly the same: NZB October 2003 covered 38 new books. So what’s changed? Certainly…
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Posted in Editorial

A spirit intense and rare, Doug Munro

Robert Louis Stevenson: His Best Pacific Writings ed Roger Robinson Streamline, $34.95, ISBN 0958210624 Everyone knows about Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), described by a contemporary as “a spirit intense and rare” and immortalised by Samoans as Tusitala (the teller of…
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Posted in Literature, Pacific, Review

Singing out, William Brandt

Chronicle of the Unsung  Martin Edmond Auckland University Press, $34.99, ISBN 1869403118 Martin Edmond, son of Lauris, played a role in two iconic cultural phenomena of my formative years in 70s and 80s Auckland – he wrote the screenplay for…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

But is it art? Jenny Nicholls

Paste Up – A Century of New Zealand Poster Art Hamish Thompson Godwit, $39.95, ISBN 1869621042 In February, Auckland Mayor Banks found himself compelled to tell immigrants not to spit in public. “Many of them come from countries where spitting…
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Posted in Art, History, Non-fiction, Review

Lucky to be alive, Ann Beaglehole

A Strange Outcome – The Remarkable Survival Story of a Polish Child  John Roy-Wojciechowski and Allan Parker Penguin Books, $35.00, ISBN 014301904X About 800 Polish refugees, 733 of them children and Most of them orphans, sailed into Wellington harbour in…
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Posted in History, Memoir, Non-fiction, Review
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