Blog Archives

Postcolonial flowering, Alistair Fox

The Essential Old Rose: Growing and Using Old Roses in New Zealand  Trevor Griffiths Viking, $34.95, ISBN 0 670 87187 7 The New Zealand Book of Roses: The best 150 Varieties,  2ed John Martin and Colin Hutchinson Viking, $34.95, ISBN

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Posted in Natural History, Non-fiction and Review

Reliable and comforting benchmark, David Grant

The Game of Our Lives Finlay MacDonald Viking, $39.95, IBSN 0 670 86907 4 For rugby aficionados 1996 has been a remarkable year. In the early part of the season, provincial conglomerates under names more reminiscent of those belonging to American

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Posted in Non-fiction, Review and Sport

Most significant work in NZ realism, Lawrence Jones

Crime Story Maurice Gee Penguin, $29.95 The Fat Man Maurice Gee Viking, $15.95 In 1977, writing a letter to the Listener, Maurice Shadbolt commented that although he was “far more interested as a writer, in nineteenth century New Zealand”, he

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Posted in Fiction, Literature and Review

Gee Whizz, Elizabeth Smither

Going West Maurice Gee, Viking, 1992, $39.95 Rem tene, verba sequentur – I have it, like an archivist, on a filched catalogue card. For the novel: ‘Grasp the subject and the words will follow’. For the poem, the reverse: Verba tene, res

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Posted in Fiction, Literature and Review

A wealth of incident and language, Harry Orsman

A Fence around the Cuckoo  Ruth Park, Viking, $49.95 Ruth Park’s success has come as a surprise to many New Zealanders, and raises questions about how we regard our expatriate writers, or rather how we define them. She counts as

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Posted in Autobiography, Non-fiction and Review

Ancient meetings of the past, Bernard Kernot

Two Worlds: first meetings between Maori and Europeans 1642-1772 Anne Salmond, Viking, Auckland, 1991, $69.95 First meetings of Maori and Europeans varied widely in their intensity and outcome. The four dealt with in Two Worlds include Tasman’s brief but disastrous encounter with

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Posted in History, Maori, Non-fiction and Review

In praise of difficult women, Annabel Cooper

Who is Sylvia? The Diary of a Biography Lynley Hood John McIndoe, Dunedin, 1990, $29.95 Sylvia! The Biography of Sylvia Ashton-Warner Lynley Hood Viking, Auckland 1988, $39.95, Paper $24.95 Who is Sylvia? is a day-by-day account of Lynley Hood’s work, her

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Posted in Biography, Memoir, Non-fiction and Review

To make the world intelligible, Max Anderson

Selected Poems 1940-1989 Allen Curnow Viking hardback, $49.95 (Penguin paperback, Auckland, 1990, $27.95) When Allen Curnow published Continuum, his collected poems 1972-1988, he organized the book back-to-front: most recent poems at the beginning, earliest at the end. The selection, a career summary

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Posted in Literature, Poetry and Review

Scorching scrutiny, Roger Robinson

The Burning Boy Maurice Gee Viking, Auckland, 1990, $39.95 The Burning Boy does for Nelson what Bonfire of the Vanities did for New York. It submits, that is, a community to scorching scrutiny. It constructs a narrative form exactly appropriate to embody and

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Posted in Literature
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