Blog Archives

History’s ghosts, Hugh Roberts

The Dark Lord of Savaiki: Collected Poems Alistair Te Ariki Campbell Hazard Press, $40.00, ISBN 1877393002 Poems 1946-2005 W H Oliver Victoria University Press, $29.95, ISBN 0864735189 There are few readers now, I imagine, who could guess at more than…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

The gang of five, W H Oliver

Dance of the peacocks: New Zealanders in exile in the time of Hitler, Stalin and Mao Tse-tung James McNeish Vintage, $34.95, ISBN 1869415647 This is an engaging and readable book. James McNeish tells a multitude of stories about a number…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

The historian’s story, Brian Turner

Looking for the Phoenix – A Memoir W H Oliver Bridget Williams Books, $39.95, ISBN 1877242985 When W H (Bill) Oliver says that, by and large, New Zealand’s been a “good place” for him, one senses that at times he’s…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Young Jim, W H Oliver

Spark to a Waiting Fuse: James K Baxter’s correspondence with Noel Ginn 1942-1946 ed Paul Millar Victoria University Press, $49.95, ISBN 086473400X I began this book thinking that a shorter one might have been enough for a smallish collection of…
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Posted in Letters, Literature, Poetry, Review

Desperate Dan, W H Oliver

Intimate Stranger: reminiscences of Dan Davin ed Janet Wilson Steele Roberts, $29.95, ISBN 1877228249 Before I start on the book, I will allow myself a grumble about the cover. This shows in the foreground a highlighted profile of Dan, characteristically…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Poem — W H Oliver

Blue Irises for Lauris Edmond   After, appropriately, several false turnings and twice overshooting the mark I was there, on the shorn grass looking around at the hills uncertain, suitably too, which of the freshly turned patches of dirt embraced…
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Posted in Poem

The shapes of time, Shelagh Duckham Cox

The Certainty of Doubt. Tributes to Peter Munz Miles Fairburn and W H Oliver (eds) Victoria University Press, Wellington, $39.95 ISBN 086473302X Immigration is a strange enterprise. In 1966, just off the Northern Star, heading for the exit of the…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Marrying the senses, Bill Sewell 

Dear Mr Sargeson  Riemke Ensing Cape Catley, $19.95 ISBN 0 908561 46 6 Like I Have Seen the Dark Green Ladder Climbing  Riemke Ensing The Pear Tree Press, no price given, ISBN 0958344205 Bodily Presence W H Oliver and Anne…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

Embers of hope, W H Oliver

Sir Joseph Ward: A Political Biography Michael Bassett, Auckland University Press, 1993, $39.95 There is a paradox in the 6 November election. Voters objecting to the trend of the past 10 years toward less and weaker government have, in their…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review

Don’t expect the head, George Griffiths

A People’s History: Illustrated Biographies from the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, Volume One, 1769-1869, W H Oliver (ed), Bridget Williams Books/ Department of Internal Affairs, $39.95 Taken alone, this collection of biographical essays can be summed up quickly. Wellwritten,…
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Posted in Biography, History, Non-fiction, Review
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