Blog Archives

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

Painted ladies, Christine Johnston

Paint Your Wife  Lloyd Jones Penguin, $35, ISBN 0143019066 “He had seen one thing and thought the other. He’d  made the mistake of seeing what he expected to see, what he was used to seeing”– this quotation from the back…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Poem — Emma Neale

Newborn   His mouth a small red hearth we crowd around drawn like man-moths to its light and warmth. When its suck and flicker at the breast stops we blow cool breath on the soft black coal of his head…
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Posted in Poem

Riding the beast, Michael Laws

New Zealand Votes: The General Election of 2002 ed J Boston, S Church, S Levine, E McLeay & N Roberts Victoria University Press, $49.95, ISBN 0864734689 I was on the baños in Baños, Ecuador when the 2002 election results were…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review

New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults 2004

A Bird in the Hand: Keeping New Zealand Wildlife Safe by Janet Hunt of Waiheke won the New Zealand Post Book of the Year 2004 as well as the non-fiction prize. Other category winners were Cuthbert’s Babies, written and illustrated…
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Posted in Comment

Another coffee-table paperweight, Mark Amery

New Zealand Painting: a concise history Michael Dunn Auckland University Press, $99.99, ISBN 1869402979 There’s a story that’s been hanging around a while now like a bad smell. Once upon a time, the story goes, painting died. Bloated and fat,…
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Posted in Art, History, Non-fiction, Review

Montana New Zealand Award 2004 winners

The Trial of the Cannibal Dog: Captain Cook in the South Seas by Anne Salmond has won this year’s Montana Medal for Non-fiction as well as the history category of the Montana New Zealand Book Awards. The Deutz Medal for…
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Posted in Comment
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