Blog Archives

Transformation, Simon Upton

Home in the Howling Wilderness  Peter Holland Auckland University Press, $50.00, ISBN 9781869407391 This book is about what can be learned of the environmental and ecological understanding of pioneer farmers in the southern half of the South Island over the

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Posted in History, Natural History, Non-fiction, Review

Literary dreams, Elspeth Sandys

In the Memorial Room Janet Frame Text, $35.00, ISBN 9781922147134 It will come as no surprise to readers of Janet Frame’s work that this hitherto unpublished novel is, before anything else, an examination of language, and the slippery, unreliable character

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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

The Veblen effect, Roger Blackley

Behind the Canvas: An Insider’s Guide to the New Zealand Art Market Warwick Henderson New Holland, $45.00, ISBN 9781869663674 In a recent New Zealand Listener, cultural curmudgeon Hamish Keith commented on the dangers of the art market: “Buying and selling

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Posted in Art, Non-fiction, Review

Jesus with a human face, Hugo Petzsch

New Zealand Jesus: Social and Religious Transformations of an Image, 1890–1940 Geoffrey Troughton Peter Lang, US$78.95, ISBN 9783034310475 The figure of Jesus and the powerful ideas that are often associated with him have attracted men, women and children for centuries.

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Religion, Review

Telling stories Catharina van Bohemen

Singing Historian: A Memoir Edmund Bohan Canterbury University Press, $30.00, ISBN 9781927145319 Sarah Vaughan Is not my Mother: A Memoir of Madness  Maryjane Thomson Awa Press, $35.00, ISBN 9781877551802 Where the Rainbow Fell Down: A New Zealand Memoir Lynette Robinson

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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review


  Non-fiction Diplomatic Ladies: New Zealand’s Unsung Envoys, Joanna Woods, Otago University Press, $50.00, ISBN 9781877578304 Using private letters and interviews, the author of Katerina: The Russian World of Katherine Mansfield (2001) writes about the wives and daughters who have

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Posted in Imprints

Strange Tookish yearnings, David Round

Shelter From the Storm: The Story of New Zealand’s Backcountry Huts Shaun Barnett, Rob Brown and Geoff Spearpoint Craig Potton Publishing, $80.00, ISBN 9781877517709 Our ancestors found no tropical paradise here; not even the long settled summers of the American

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Posted in Natural History, Non-fiction, Review

Always something to behave about, Damien Wilkins

Damien Wilkins pays tribute to Barbara Anderson (1926-2013).   With her cultured Anglo voice (boarding school in New Zealand and years as a naval wife in England), her title (she was Lady Anderson following Neil’s knighthood), her height, elegance, beads,

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Posted in Comment

Still flying, Harry Ricketts

Glass Wings Fleur Adcock Victoria University Press, $28.00, ISBN 9780864738875 Glass Wings is Fleur Adcock’s 13th collection. For close on 50 years, her poems have been praised for their sharp wit, classical clarity and conversational ease. Those qualities are again

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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

Letters – Issue 102

A radical thought Here’s a radical thought for Chris Else (NZB, Autumn 2013). Perhaps a book reviewer might endeavour to say a couple of pertinent things about the book under review. If that book happens to be a major new

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Posted in Letters
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