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Literature

A B C D E G H J L M N O P R S T Y

A

A Fine Pen
Shifen Gong selects and introduces twenty texts about Mansfield and her work, translated into English for the first time.

A Place to Go On From
Dunedin poet Iain Lonie (1932–1988), a Cambridge scholar who enjoyed an international reputation as a medical historian, died before his poetry was fully appreciated. He published five slim volumes but his style was not the one that dominated New Zealand poetry at the time. And yet, argues Damian Love in an essay in this volume, ‘To read him now is, for most of us, practically to discover a new resource.’ This collection, assembled from sources public and private, is the result of poet David Howard’s determination to rescue a memorable body of work from oblivion. As well as the poems from Lonie’s published volumes, it includes over a hundred unpublished works, two essays and an extensive commentary. While his keen interest in mortality was focused by the premature death of his wife Judith (aged 46), Lonie’s poetry is also an attempt to recover the loved in us all. As he eavesdrops on desire and grief he reports back, often wittily, leaving the most poised body of elegiac poetry New Zealand has. For younger poets, Iain Lonie’s poetry has become ‘a place to go on from’.

A Strange Beautiful Excitement: 
Katherine Mansfield's Wellington

How does a city make a writer? Described by Fiona Kidman as a ‘ravishing, immersing read’, A Strange Beautiful Excitement is a ‘wild ride’ through the Wellington of Katherine Mansfield’s childhood. 
From the grubby, wind-blasted streets of Thorndon to the hushed green valley of Karori, author Redmer Yska, himself raised in Karori, retraces Mansfield’s old ground: the sights, sounds and smells of the rickety colonial capital, as experienced by the budding writer.

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B

Beyond the Breakwater
Beyond the Breakwater brings together twenty-six outstanding short stories spanning half a century by an acclaimed master of the genre, O.E. Middleton.

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C

Charles Brasch Journals 1945–1957

This volume of Charles Brasch’s journals covers the years from late 1945 to the end of 1957, when the poet and editor was aged 36 to 48. It begins with his return to New Zealand after World War II to establish a literary quarterly to be published by the Caxton Press. The journals cover the first decade or so of his distinguished editorship of Landfall, a role that brought Brasch into contact with New Zealand’s leading artists and intelligentsia.

Charles Brasch: Selected Poems
Charles Brasch (1909–1973) was the founder and first editor of Landfall, New Zealand’s premier journal of literature and ideas. Born in Dunedin, he grew up to be at home in the literature, art and architecture of Europe, but returned to devote his life to the arts in his own country – as editor, critic, collector and patron. Brasch’s vocation, however, was to be a poet. As he said in his memoir Indirections, in writing poems he ‘discovered New Zealand … because New Zealand lived in me as no other country could live, part of myself as I was part of it, the world I breathed and wore from birth, my seeing and my language.’ This selection shows his journey of discovery, as Charles Brasch learned by reading poets such as Rilke, W.B. Yeats and Robert Graves to find his own voice as ‘a citizen of the English language’. It is presented as a beautifully bound cased edition.

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D

Doctors in Denial
Published by Otago University Press, 'Doctors in Denial' is a gripping inside account of professional arrogance and denial written by one of the doctors who exposed the truth about ‘the unfortunate experiment’ at National Women’s Hospital.

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E

Enduring Legacy
In the mid-twentieth century Charles Brasch was a major figure in New Zealand's cultural life – a poet, patron and founding editor of Landfall, the country's premier journal of letters and art. Published to coincide with the release of his papers at the Hocken Library from a 30-year embargo, this volume celebrates his life and legacy in a series of essays by writers and critics, including people who knew him.

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G

Generation Kitchen
Much sought after by oil companies, ‘generation kitchens’ are sites where geological forces have combined to create conditions for oil production. By turns brooding and wittily observant, Richard Reeve’s fifth book of poetry meditates on the intrigues of fossil fuel companies and ecological despoliation, but also on personal rites of passage – on relationships, deaths, the turn of the seasons. Comic monologues, spiritual invocations, flung swearwords, elegies, eulogies, wind tunnel diatribes and fanciful phantasmagorias co-exist in this collection. Oracular and bardic, Reeve’s work is also paradoxically down to earth and gritty. He knows that, beyond the geopolitical framework, beyond the anthropocene moment, the landscape endures, as in the poem ‘Warrington Dives’: 'the bright / swell bending around the coast, prodding the dark, / clouds of sediment thrown up by a wave …'

Ghost Net
'The air was thick with smog and noise. Kristina pulled her coat closer around herself and tucked her hands down into its pockets. She felt a cold shape against her fingertips – the spare key to Ana's flat.' Ana, a young Czech woman, is spending the southern summer in New Zealand. In the aftermath of the break-up of her marriage, she is visiting her father, whom she has not seen since he left Prague when she was a young child. With her is her own small daughter, Ariel. Back in Prague, her mother, brother, best friend Kristina and her estranged husband, Milan, are wondering if they will return.

Gothic NZ
Contemporary creative writers, intellectuals, photographers, painters and other artists have all contributed to this volume exploring the idea of 'gothic' in New Zealand culture. From Martin Edmond's abandoned houses, to Ian Lochhead's Victorian corrugated iron structures, to Otis Frizzell's tattoos, from Peter Jackson's movie-making to ghost paintings - there's plenty of it. As the editors suggest, gothic is 'endemic to New Zealand's self-representation'.

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H

Halfway to Africa
In the language of flowers, the iris signifies 'I have a message for you'. As a symbol it was the fleur-de-lys of the royal family of France, known as the Flower of Chivalry, with a sword for its leaves and a lily for its heart. In this beautiful novel Bronwyn Tate weaves these images through the lives of ten very different people and their experiences of giving birth, of loss and rediscovery.

Hauaga
John Pule is one of the most significant artists living and working in New Zealand today. From the mid-1990s his powerful, enigmatic and personal paintings attracted great interest, and his work came to be widely shown. Famously inspired by hiapo, the innovative barkcloths of nineteenth-century Niue, Pule has been fascinated by the Polynesian past and present, but his work ranges far more widely, responding both to ancestral culture, and to the global terror and violence of our time.

Haunt
Once upon a time there was a small settlement, north of Dunedin, where a huge psychiatric hospital sprawled on the hillside and a patchwork of farmland sloped down to the cliffs that edged the sea. Once upon a time there were two women, Irene and Margaret. This is the story of the friendship that ties them together for almost forty years. As their lives unfold, memories twist and shift and fairytales take on a new and frightening slant. It is the story of simple human needs, and a terrible secret.

Her Side of the Story
This book explores contemporary ways of reading some important New Zealand literary works, all produced between 1910 and 1940. Interpretations of these texts have had a significant impact on New Zealanders' ideas of themselves. The author argues that interpretation is a process which can never be completed, although at any one time there will be readings that are more significant than others.

How to Study Literature in English
This text has been written for the student advancing into the study of literature at university, and is designed to give basic information on the concepts and methods of literary criticism. While pitched at Stage 1 students, it should prove equally useful for senior high school students, as well as for those who are pursuing a degree in English literature at higher undergraduate stages. Specifically, it bridges the gap between coursebooks relating to the Year 12 and 13 syllabus and the more specialised texts prescribed in university courses. For this reason, high school teachers will also find it an invaluable resource.

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J

Janet Frame
New Zealand writer Janet Frame became world-famous through An Angel at My Table, the film based on her autobiographical trilogy. Here, Gina Mercer presents a dynamic discussion of all of Frame's works, beginning with her controversial debut in 1951 with The Lagoon & Other Stories.

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L

Landfall 226
'Landfall 226: Heaven and Hell', edited by David Eggleton

Landfall 227
'Landfall 227: Vital Signs', edited by David Eggleton

Landfall 228
'Landfall 228' (Spring 2014), edited by David Eggleton

Landfall 229: Autumn 2015
Still at the very centre of local culture, New Zealand’s liveliest and most important literary magazine returns in 2015 with Landfall 229, showcasing the best of our contemporary writing across a breadth of styles and themes.

Landfall 229
'Landfall 229' (Autumn 2015), edited by David Eggleton

Landfall 230
'Landfall 230' (Spring 2015), edited by David Eggleton

Landfall 231
'Landfall 231' (Autumn 2016), edited by David Eggleton

Landfall 232
'Landfall 232' (Spring 2016), edited by David Eggleton

Leaving for Townsville
This is a novel in which you will meet some extraordinary characters – the Moxon sisters, Max Bloody Tapper – and find at least three layers of story. Outwardly, it's all quite simple – Rick has a bit of a mid-life crisis and Hazel carries on coping. But as the two work through their break-up and its fall-out – Rick in Australia and Hazel in New Zealand – events at a country swimming-hole one summer long ago begin to haunt them both.

Lighted Windows
As a writer Hyde was not afraid to draw on her own experience of the dangers of new-found freedoms for women. This first critical study of the diverse writings of Robin Hyde includes new information on her life and work and studies that enlarge our understanding of a courageous yet vulnerable figure and the vitality, richness and wit of her writing.

Lily's Cupola
This gentle and imaginative novel is the story of Lily, an elderly woman reflecting on her life and family in letters to the other side of the world. She writes about her grandson who has come to stay, with grandiose dreams of building a cupola in her garden; about her husband and son, and their mid-life move from England to New Zealand; and about her passion for quilting, which radiates through the pages. And as she explores the past, the reader is drawn into a rich and surprising story.

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M

Maurice Gee
Maurice Gee’s fiction for younger readers blends exciting stories with serious issues. Told through a range of genres, from fantasy to realism, adventure to science fiction, mysteries, psychological thrillers and gangster stories, they offer a distinctive body of work that shows New Zealand to children and young adults.

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N

Nor the Years Condemn
The line from the Anzac verse provides the title of this novel, in which Hyde shows the predicament of returned servicemen and women after the First World War. Through the story of Douglas Stark, we see the many ways in which New Zealand was failing their expectations. It was not the 'and fit for heroes' they had fought for, but a changing society moving through the tough times of the twenties and thirties.

Nurse to the Imagination
This book illustrates the contribution made to New Zealand letters by our oldest and most prestigious literary fellowship. Edited and introduced by Professor Lawrence Jones, the anthology, by turns playful and serious, celebrates the Fellowship’s golden jubilee. Beginning with novelist Ian Cross in 1959 and ending with the 2008 Burns Fellow, poet Sue Wootton, Nurse to the Imagination showcases the output of leading New Zealand literary figures such as James K. Baxter, Michael King and Janet Frame alongside newer voices, with pieces written at the time of the Fellow’s tenure. There are lots of interesting trends here, of which the shift from male-dominated literature up to 1980 to the rich representation of women writers since then is just one.

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O

Only One Angel
Jan Kemp is a traveller. In this volume she brings together widely disparate experiences – intellectual, artistic, spiritual, sensual – with clarity, honesty and wit. The illustrations are by Claudia Pond Eyley.

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P

Playlunch
First published in 1996 and now updated, this book contains plays by established New Zealand writers that were written for lunchtime theatre.

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R

Russian Dolls
This is a novel about a woman of today uncovering the tale of her maiden great aunt and a soldier in World War I. In her search, Isla finds other family stories against which her own experience since she left home stormily at the age of seventeen reverberates.

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S

Snark
'Gabriel Clutch was a thief and a liar but he was right about one thing. He told me he had a great secret in his collection that would shake the literary world to its roots if it ever got out ...' So begins the delightfully dark Snark, a tumultuous romp through worlds created by Lewis Carroll and here brought to life through the vivid imaginings and fabulous art of award-winning author and illustrator David Elliot. What exactly did happen to the Snark expedition? Did his dagger-proof coat protect the Beaver from the Butcher? What befell the Boots in the Tulgey Wood? Who fell foul of the Jabberwock? The Bandersnatch? The Jub-Jub Bird? And, finally, the big question: what precisely is a SNARK ...? David Elliot’s hero, the Boots, here reveals the whole truth for the first time, from his recruitment to the Snark expedition, to his return from a journey of unimaginable, death-defying adventure ...

Soundings
Soundings is another landmark in the development of an important and widely read New Zealand poet. This collection continues and develops the themes of homeland and loss, colonisation and displacement that have been constantly important to McQueen.

Stunning debut of the
repairing of a life

SIMPLE BROKEN BEAUTIFUL is the title on a notebook of poetry written by Leigh Davis in 2008. This was during radiotherapy treatment following surgery for a brain tumour, which was affecting his ability to express himself in words. The notebook writing was the beginning of a work that developed into a long poem called 'Stunning debut of the repairing of a life'. The resulting manuscript won The Kathleen Grattan Award for Poetry 2009, judged by Ian Wedde.

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T

The Black Horse and Other Stories
Twelve short stories by one of New Zealand's best-loved poets. Set in the south, they are spare pieces of prose, showing an eye for detail and for the ironies of life.

The Conch Trumpet
The Conch Trumpet calls to the scattered tribes of contemporary New Zealand. It sounds the signal to listen close, critically and ‘in alert reverie’. David Eggleton’s reach of references, the marriage of high and low, the grasp of popular and classical allusion, his eye both for cultural trash and epiphanic beauty, make it seem as if here Shakespeare shakes down in the Pacific. In this latest collection David Eggleton is court jester/philosopher/lyricist, and a kind of male Cassandra, roving warningly from primeval swampland to gritty cityscape to the information and disinformation cybercloud.

The Gorse Blooms Pale
Dan Davin, Rhodes scholar, for many years Academic Publisher at the Clarendon Press in Oxford, and one of New Zealand’s acknowledged masters of the short story, was born in Invercargill in 1913. The Gorse Blooms Pale gathers together twenty-six stories and a selection of poems reflecting his experiences while growing up in an Irish-New Zealand family in Southland.

The Heart Sutra
A vibrant, engrossing collection, where satisfying storytelling meets a very modern sensibility. Caren Wilton is funny and engaging. Her characters find themselves in unfamiliar landscapes: sometimes physical – a Bangkok flat, a youth hostel in Edinburgh, a Wellington massage parlour – and sometimes personal. Wherever they are, she takes a vivid, compassionate look at human strengths and vulnerabilities, and people's skewed attempts at finding happiness. Unsatisfactory sex, coin-flipping doctors and an elephant with a wooden leg – Caren Wilton writes page-turning stories whose characters always ring true.

The Joy of a Ming Vase
As American critic Tom Disch quipped of many vintage poets: 'friends and pets die, the garden takes on a new significance.' There are poems in this collection about Dutch Masters, the remembered voice of a deceased soprano, a waterfall, ancient Chinese artefacts, victims of the World Wars, kites and flowers; but each piece is sensitively imbued not only with the poet's awareness of impending death but also with the incorrigible fragility of life. While Dallas is at home in a number of different modes, her high regard for literary tradition as a form of spiritual realism makes her eminently readable as a disciplined watcher of the seasons.

The Power of Place
The flowering of New Zealand children's fiction in the 1980s was exciting and unprecedented, culminating in international acclaim for the work of Margaret Mahy, Tessa Duder and others. Critic Diane Hebley discusses the books and writers published between 1970 and 1989. She argues that the New Zealand seascape and landscape have been powerful forces in our childern's literature. Inherently dangerous, they have given rise to stories of challenge and adventure. She also shows how a sense of place has given writers a way of exploring characters and their points of view, as well as the concerns of contemporary society.

The Radio Room
In The Radio Room, Poet Laureate Cilla McQueen travels space and time, throwing 'thought-lines' from her present-day corner of the world to the ancient Celtic islands of her ancestors ('On a cliff-top above screeching gulls I stand still thinking backwards, antipodean poet grafted from ancient taproot in this bedrock' ... 'if they spoke, what would they say? Could I understand that language at the root of my tongue?'

The Ship of Dreams
Notoriously self-contained and private, Kiwi men are often reluctant to talk about their personal feelings and embarrassed at the thought that any private emotional difficulties could be exposed to critical examination. One must go to their imaginative literature to make contact with the reality that underlies the (often calculatedly deceptive) surface. In his investigation of these issues, Fox demonstrates the crucial importance of Pakeha and Maori cultural predispositions influencing masculine identity in this country – often at the cost of great psychic pain for the men involved.

The Story of a New Zealand Writer
Who was Jane Mander? Why did she write The Story of a New Zealand River? Many people know the book, but few know anything of the writer. Rae McGregor has drawn a rich absorbing portrair of Mander – from her early years in the north, to Sydney socialist, New York intellectual, London writer, and home again as Auckland critic and literary personality.

The Summer King
The Summer King tells stories, exploring the world we inhabit and our relationships with the other. Myth, catastrophe, family, strangers, sex, sport – all feature in this ‘fine and fierce first collection’ (Gillian Clark). The book contains two sequences: ‘Cowarral’, about Preston’s family farm in the Forbes Valley of NSW, and ‘Venery’, which was inspired by the collective nouns that first appeared in the Book of St Albans.

The Truth Garden
This is the fourth book in the series arising from the Kathleen Grattan Award for Poetry. Each book is produced with attention to the traditional qualities of fine book production, in typography, illustration, design, paper and binding. The Truth Garden is illustrated by Kathryn Madill and designed by Fiona Moffat.

The Universal Dance
It is not widely known that Charles Brasch, poet and editor, was also a prose writer and lecturer of considerable critical acumen and wide-ranging interest. As a poet responding poetically to other poets, artists and thinkers, Brasch was that rare being, an idealist who bore witness to his ideals without faltering.

The Urewera Notebook
Katherine Mansfield filled the first half of her ‘Urewera Notebook’ during a 1907 camping tour of the central North Island, shortly before she left New Zealand forever. Her camping notes offer a rare insight into her attitude to her life at the time, and her country of birth, not in retrospective fiction but as a 19-year-old still living in the colony. This publication is the first scholarly edition of the ‘Urewera Notebook’. It provides an original transcription, a collation of the alternative readings and textual criticism of prior editors, and new information about the politics, people and places Mansfield encountered on her journey. As a whole, this edition challenges the debate that has focused on Mansfield’s happiness or dissatisfaction throughout her last year in New Zealand to reveal a young writer closely observing aspects of a country hitherto beyond her experience and forming a complex
critique of her colonial homeland.

The Wife Who Spoke Japanese
in her Sleep

Beaches, food, magic ... ten quirky and enjoyable stories from Wellington writer Vivienne Plumb

The Word Went Round
Powerful historical poems about nineteenth-century Irish emigration to New Zealand, the colonial wars, Von Tempsky and Te Kooti, moving elegies for poet/painter Joanna Margaret Paul, the artist Reiko Kunimatsu and the poet's late father, love poems, and meditations on the nature of spiritual existence in the intellectual pressure-cooker of the twenty-first century. Howard's poems are accompanied by a selection of haunting images by the painter Garry Currin, produced to accompany the long title-poem which is the central feature of the book.

The Writer at Work
Into this volume C.K. Stead gathers a selection of his essays from the past decade, mixing literary criticism with autobiography. He reviews the work of other writers, meditates on the teaching of literature, revisits some controversies and explores literary history. Always interesting, the essays travel through time and space – from Janet Frame, to Barry Humphries' birthday, to Paul Theroux and telling the truth, to Shelley's Constantia – on a brilliant carpet of scholarship and wit.

This City
This City circles the globe from Florence to Palmerston North but the resulting volume is far more than so-called armchair travel. Topography and public space are a preoccupation (buses and trains, roads and houses, even Google Earth’s Street View all get a mention), but it is her evocation of the transient grounded in these spaces – snippets overheard on an Italian strada, scenes on a bus on Moxham Ave, imaginings of lives from long ago (Jane Austen, Emily Dickenson) – that leaves a taut and exciting impression of lives lived here, in this place, in This City.

Time of the Icebergs
Much of Time of the Icebergs was written while David Eggleton was a Writer-in-Residence at the Michael King Writers Centre in Auckland in 2009. These are poems about the world we live in, tracing a dystopian present 'hurtling globalisation's highway' where 'Google tells Google that Google saves'. As he says 'I think of it as a collection for browsing and discovering things: soundscapes, seascapes, landscapes, contemporary politics and contemporary people, histories, traditions, and other things besides.'

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Y

Your Unselfish Kindness
Robin Hyde’s extraordinary but short life (1906–1939) included a precocious early career as poet and parliamentary reporter. As a journalist, she juggled writing for the social pages with highly political reporting on unemployment, prison conditions and the alienation of Māori land. She struggled with drug addiction and depression, single motherhood twice over, and a lengthy period as a voluntary patient in a residential clinic (The Lodge) attached to Auckland Mental Hospital in Avondale. Her life culminated in brilliant reporting on the Sino/Japanese War following a journey into China in 1938.