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Chalk and cheese William Brandt

The Many Deaths of Mary Dobie: Murder, Politics and Revenge in Nineteenth-century New Zealand
David Hastings
Auckland University Press, $40.00,
ISBN 9781869408374

The Scene of the Crime: Twelve Extraordinary True Stories of Crime and Punishment
Steve Braunias
HarperCollins, $37.00,
ISBN 9781775540830

Tourism has certainly come a long way. When in 1878 Mary Dobie made the trip from England to New Zealand, travelling in the company of sister Bertha (has that name ever been fashionable?) and mother Ellen, it took her three months. Not surprisingly after such a big investment of time and effort, the women planned a stay of three years – time to attend the wedding of émigré brother Herbert and still fit in a tour of the North Island, taking in, among other places, the fabled Pink and White Terraces of Lake Rotomahana. In special travel outfits of their own design (“a stout dungaree petticoat and a loose blouse bodice of thin cotton stuff”), the intrepid trio even visited Fiji and Samoa. “No white woman had ever been there,” journalled Bertha, with some pride, of a caving expedition to the Yasawa Islands.

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review, Sociology

Bovver boys

What they wrote A taste of contributor comments over our first 20 years   On New Zealand Books My hope is that New Zealand Books will provide a forum for frank discussion that dares to rise above the suffocating confines

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Posted in Comment

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

Ambivalence and comedy, Paola Bilbrough

Queen of Beauty  Paula Morris Penguin $27.95, ISBN 0864734425 The book of the film of the story of my life William Brandt Victoria University Press, $29.95, ISBN 0143018418 Queen of Beauty and The book of the film of the story

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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Men Behaving Not Too Badly, Jane Westaway

Alpha Male William Brandt Victoria University Press, $24.95, ISBN 0 86473 378 X The young male voice has been absent from the NZ Lit chorus lately, and for that reason alone William Brandt’s first book is worth a close look. The

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Posted in Literature, Review, Short stories

Breaking the silence, Katherine Findlay

The Middle Bridge: A New Zealand childhood Sheryl Jennings Tandem Press, $19.95, ISBN 0 908884508 Warriors of Truth: Adult Survivors Healing from Childhood Sexual Abuse Kim McGregor University of Otago Press, $29.95, ISBN 0 90856984X Invisible Wounds: A Self‑help Guide

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Posted in Gender, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology
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