Select Reviews of Otago Books, A–Z
Please click on a title below to go straight to that book's reviews
A A Distant Shore: Irish Migration and NZ Settlement • A Fine Pen: The Chinese View of Katherine Mansfield • A Great NZ Prime Minister • A Southern Architecture: The Work of Ted McCoy • Amassing Treasures for all Time: Sir George Grey • An Accidental Utopia? • Anatomy of a Medical School: A History of Medicine at the University of Otago • Ants of New Zealand • Axis: Cilla McQueen • B Beyond the Scene: Landscape and Identity in Aotearoa • Built for Us: The Work of Government and Colonial
Architects C Calling the Fish and Other Stories • Children as Citizens? international Voices • Castles of Gold: NZ's West Coast Irish • Cook's Sites: Revisiting History • Common Ground: Heritage and Public Places in New Zealand D Defence of Madrid: An Eyewitness Account from the Spanish Civil War • Detours: A Journey Through Small-town New Zealand • Disputed Histories: Imagining New Zealand's Pasts • Doing Well and Doing Good: Scottish Enterprise in NZ • Dunedin Soundings E Early NZ Photography • Eyewitness: A Memoir of Europe in the 1930s F Facing the Music • Fiona Pardington: The Pressure of Sunlight Falling • Francis Shurrock: Shaping New Zealand Sculpture • From Kai to Kiwi Cuisine G Gathering for God: George Brown in Oceania • Give Your Thoughts Life • Gothic New Zealand: The Darker Side of Kiwi Culture H Hauaga: The Art of John Pule • How to Do Local History I I am Five and I go to School • India in New Zealand • Indian Settlers • In the Paddock and On the Run: The Language of Rural New Zealand J John Larkins Cheese Richardson: Biography • Joy of a Ming Vase K Ka Taoka Hakena: Treasures from the Hocken Collection • Kiwi: The People's Bird • Kiwitown's Port L Lighted Windows: Essays on Robin Hyde • Living Together: Towards Inclusive Communities M Mad or Bad? The Life and Exploits of Amy Bock • Made for Weather • Making Our Place N Nurse to the Imagination: The Robert Burns Fellowship O Outspoken: Coming Out in the Anglican Church of Aotearoa NZ P Passageways • Pasifika Styles: Artists Inside the Museum • Piano Forte • Politics in the Playground: The World of Early Childhood in New Zealand • Promised New Zealand: Fleeing Nazi Persecution Q Quarantine R Rauru: Tene Waitere, Maori Carving, Colonial History S Salote • Secular Sermons: Essays on Science and Philosophy • Shifting Centres: Women and Migration in New Zealand History • Shifting Nature: Wayne Barrar • Spiders of New Zealand • Stewart Island • Studying New Zealand • Stunning Debut of the Repairing of a Life T Tarara: Croats and Maori in New Zealand • The Gift of Stories: Discovering How to Deal with Mental Illness • The Governors • The Gorse Blooms Pale: Dan Davin's Southland Stories • The Pavlova Story: A Slice of New Zealand's Culinary History • The Radio Room: Poems by Cilla McQueen • The Real MacKay • The Ship of Dreams: Masculinity in Contemporary Pakeha and Maori Fiction of Aotearoa/New Zealand • The Summer King: Poems • The Twelve Cakes of Christmas • The Writer at Work: Essays by CK Stead • This City: Poems by Jennifer Compton • Time of the Icebergs: Poems by David Eggleton • Touchy Subject • Tuhituhi U Understanding Health Inequalities in Aotearoa New Zealand W Wild Central: Discovering the Natural History of Central Otago • Wild Heart: The Possibility of Wilderness in Aotearoa New Zealand
A Distant Shore
Irish Migration and New Zealand Settlement
Edited by Lyndon Fraser
'New Zealand's origins are multi-cultural and
this is an excellent introduction to one of the
contributing cultures.'– Sunday Star Times
'contains plenty to whet the appetite'
– Otago Daily Times
'This is a great collection of essays that brings to life and colour the Irish diaspora and its impact on the history of New Zealand.' – Patrick Cole, New Zealand Catholic
A Fine Pen
The Chinese View of Katherine Mansfield
'...fresh and enlightening.' – Dennis McEldowney, NZ Listener
Edited by James Watson and Lachy Paterson
‘Since collections of conference papers are often a disappointment, it is a real pleasure to review a volume that is coherent, well organized and thought provoking.’ – New Zealand Journal of History, Vol.45, No.2, October 2011
‘… this is one of those symposia that fairly puts the received image of an historical figure to the test. It does show fairly conclusively that there is a lot more to Bill Massey than we’ve been led to believe.’ – Reids Reader Blog, 19 September 2011
‘The most interesting [essay] is described as “towards a reassessment”, by Erik Olssen; it is long overdue.’ – Otago Daily Times, 4 June 2011
‘... will be of interest to the non-specialist ... ’ – North and South, July 2011
‘This is an enlightening book which gives an insight into an unsettled and industrially disruptive time in New Zealand history, and of the man whom New Zealanders voted in to lead them through it.’ – Heritage Matters, Issue 27, Winter 2011
'A beautifully presented collection of McCoy's own photographs of the houses, churches and major buildings he has designed. ... The book is pleasing to the eye – a balance McCoy strives for in his architectural designs.' Star Weekender, Mar 2008
'The book is attractive and a useful compendium of McCoy's buildings ... [it] faithfully reflects the work of a designer who possesses an unerring grace. He has produced not only most of the best building in Dunedin in that time but a singular development of New Zealand architecture.' –
Peter Entwistle, Art Beat, Otago Daily Times, 18 Feb 2008.
'Kerr asks critical questions. What did colonial officials read, what did they collect and how was this accumulation ultimately dispersed? Under what disadvantages did colonials operate as they attempted to build libraries at great distances in space and time from the European source of the books? And, more nuanced, how did the purchaser read the books and annotate them? And how did the books contribute to the mental development of the reader?... The most significant library philanthropist of the English-speaking world, Andrew Carnegie, declared Grey 'the truest & greatest prophet of our day', and Carnegie was his 'grateful Disciple'.' – The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, Vol. 36 2008
'...packed with facts ... I’m delighted that we have it...' – NZ Books
An Accidental Utopia?
Social Mobility and the Foundations of an Egalitarian Society, 1880-1940
‘It is a technically accomplished, highly original and intellectually stimulating work which deserves a wide readership.’ – New Zealand Journal of History, Vol. 46, No.1, 2012
‘… richly embellishes a project of crucial and strategic dimensions – both academically and morally – on our small, multi-faceted and sometimes precarious social and political democracy that I hope will stimulate others to follow.’ – New Zealand Sociology, Volume 26 Issue 2 2011
‘The book is saved from being a dry recitation of denominational percentages, performative rituals and discursive structures by Olssen’s sweeping prose.’ – Otago Daily Times, 10 September 2011
Anatomy of a Medical School
A History of Medicine at the University of Otago, 1875–2000
'... this strikingly beautiful, readable (and reasonably priced) book is also a work of meticulous historical scholarship … Anatomy of a Medical School is a magnificent integrative achievement that places the changing pedagogy, people, and purposes of Otago Medical School within the multiple contexts of western medicine, Empire, New Zealand tertiary education and government health policy, and local and global events; a significant current of subtext is the changing public expectations of medical practice and medical practitioners over a lengthy period. This book is worth reading for its many implicit suggestions for health and history research ...' – Health and History. Vol 10, No. 2
' ... this account of the Otago Medical School works well … Change over time and the ethos of the school are traced through various recurring themes such as student life, sport, and communal activities ...There are also crisp vignettes of many staff members and graduates.' – New Zealand Doctor, 3 June 2009
'This obviously meticulously researched book is written in an easy-to-read manner and will be of great interest to anyone with a medical background ... With anecdotes and stories about deans, professors, some of the teaching staff and some students through the ages, as well as a list of Otago Medical School graduates from 1887 to 2006, many people will find familiar names which will make for some interesting reading and reminiscing.' –
Hurunui News, September 2008
'Don begins with an illustrated key followed by descriptions of all New Zealand species with location maps, photographs, habitats, biology and pest status. There is a fascinating chapter on collecting ants with traps and he describes how to preserve, mount and label specimens.' Daily Post, Mar 2008
'What a beautiful book, very well done! ... a huge step forward.' – Steve Shattuck, CSIRO Entomology, Australia
'... the author has produced a work that will become a reference for students and researchers. It is equally as interesting to the casual reader or those who simply want to know more about the country’s smaller critters.' Waikato Times, June 2008
'Let me add my own praise on Ants of New Zealand. A gorgeous book! It makes me want to go looking for the species depicted.' –
Edward O. Wilson, Pelligrino University Research Professor, Harvard University,
co-author of The Ants
'... a veritable tour de force...' –
Murray S. Blum, formerly Department of Entomology, University of Georgia
Poems and Drawings
'... all [McQueen's] best and most loved poems in the one book.' – Raewyn Bright, PPTA News
'... grounding and bracing at the same time.' – Emma Neale, Evening Post
Beyond the Scene
Landscape and Identity in Aotearoa/New Zealand
Edited by Janet Stephenson, Mick Abbott & Jacinta Ruru
'Each author has taken a different approach, which lends this book interest and variety, makes one want to leave the armchair and actually visit the areas, and view and view and explore them from fresh perspectives.' – Heritage Matters, Issue 23, Winter 2010
'There is a feast of imaginative and interesting writing in this book.'
Beatties Book Blog
'These are wonderful stories and the editors need to be applauded for bringing them to us at this time in our evolving history.' – Waikato Times, 22 Oct 2010
‘I was delightfully surprised by the lyrical quality and freshness of some of its contributions’
– New Zealand Geographer, Vol 66, Issue 3 2010
‘The distinctive perspectives included here made me more aware of a collective, intergenerational, and, even in conflict, cross-cultural dimension.’
– New Zealand Books, Vol. 20, No. 4, Issue 92, 2010
Built for Us
The Work of Government and Colonial
Architects, 1860s to 1960s
Lewis E. Martin
'Lewis E. Martin's important representational survey of the
nationwide work of the six men appointed to the task during
this period is a sheer delight. Martin, himself a retired
architect, has chosen to let each building speak for itself
by anchoring minimal text around deliciously descriptive,
yet simple, line drawings... Combining the history of
architecture with biography, this is a sterling work –
Andrea Little, New Zealand Home & Entertaining
'Built for Us is also in its low-key way something of a
master work: authoritative, opinionated, personal ...'. –
Douglas Lloyd-Jenkins, NZ Listener
Castles of Gold
A History of New Zealand's West Coast Irish
'lively ... a valuable book, adding another dimension on the history of settlement
of a once remote part of New Zealand.' – Heritage Matters, Spring 2007
'captures some of the complexities of Irish migration to New Zealand ... and
reminds us that the frontier really did matter in the shaping of a new society. ... a fine contribution to what should become a large and fascinating historical
literature.' – Otago Daily Times
Heritage and Public Places in New Zealand
Edited by Alexander Trapeznik
'...this becomes the instant standard reference work in the field, indispensable to students of heritage ... would be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in our historic heritage.' – John Daniels, City Voice
Calling the Fish and Other Stories
David Lyndon Brown
'... hums with energy and flashes of brilliance.' – Lydia Wevers, NZ Listener
'Some of the stories in this collection are laugh-out-oud hilarious; they are all honest and immediate and often unbearably poignant.' – Helen Speirs, The Star
'... poignant, clever stories.' – Penelope Bieder, New Zealand Herald
'...dressed up to the nines with wit, wisdom and observation...' – John McCrystal, Evening Post
'...sharp and sympathetically observant. Ordinary people, surprising and delighting us, sketched so deftly we feel we've known them all our lives...marvellous.' – John Z Robinson, Otago Daily Times
Nicola Taylor & Anne Smith (eds)
'This well researched and informative book should be part of every school’s staff library and expected reading for all policy makers and politicians. With the increasing emphasis on using ‘student voice’ this book is an essential read, aid to understanding and guide to the future.' – Good Teacher, May 2009
'...a laudable attempt at a very ambitious project designed to capture children's and young people's perceptions of the complex concepts of rights and citizenship ...This study goes some way towards developing methodologies the adult world needs to enable children's participation, protection and provision rights. With this in mind, I congratulate the researchers' contribution to this growing knowledge base.'
– New Zealand Sociology, Volume 24 Number 1 2009
'... overall this book provides a valuable base on which to conduct further research into the understanding of citizenship by children, and how culture influences children's everyday experiences.' – Political Science, Volume 62, No. 1, June 2010
Nicholas Thomas and Mark Adams
'splendidly produced... quirky...thoughtful and elegant' – Gavin McLean, Evening Post
'...pictures our most remote corners in a way they've never been seen... fascinating and highly idiosyncratic' – Michelle Hewitson, New Zealand Herald
'an exciting book, distinguished especially by the artistry and suggestiveness of its photographs, and the bracingly stimulating character of much of the text.' – Michael King, The Listener
Defence of Madrid
An Eyewitness Account from the Spanish Civil War
'a penetrating understanding of people ... a remarkable and gifted
New Zealander ... a fine precursor of what [work] was to come' –
A Journey Through Small-town New Zealand
(A Generation On)
'one of our best travel books, rich with affectionate, perceptive narratives and
insights ... this new edition confirms that is it is often very sobering to go back.
But it makes an excellent, near-classic read available once more.' – Canvas, NZ
'a travel classic!' – Wellington Post
‘Although Peat preferred to ride alone and to camp out to avoid talking with fellow travellers, he does seem to be able to communicate easily with the people of the small towns, perhaps knowing that the small towns of New Zealand are not about buildings at all but realising that New Zealand is about its people.’ – Studies in Travel Writing, Vol. 14, No. 4, December 2010
Edited by Tony Ballantyne and Brian Moloughney
'an excellent overview of the importance of historical vision in the
rethinking of a society that has become intensely conscious of its
bicultural condition, but now needs to rethink that' – Australian Historical
Studies April 2007
Doing Well and Doing Good
Ross and Glendining, Scottish Enterprise in New Zealand
'I've no doubt Doing Well and Doing Good will be an important and very readable university text, but it is deserving of a wider readership.' – Otago Daily Times, Sat 27 March 2010.
'Weaving the strands of individual, family, and business history together, Dr Jones has produced an outstanding contribution to New Zealand’s economic history.' – Artifacts, October 2011
‘He does well and does good himself by going beyond the specific history of this one firm and speaking to larger issues in business and economic history.’ – EH.NET, 20 November 2010
Edited by Dan Bendrups and Graeme Downes
'With concise chapters and a host of very readable and informed contributors, Dunedin Soundings is a valuable document for anybody wanting to learn more about the creation of music in Aotearoa.' – NZ Musician
Edited by Angela Wanhalla and Erika Wolf
‘Collectively, the editors and contributors prove the case that many specific skills are involved in reading old photographs rightly. But it is the moments of personal engagement that give Early New Zealand Photography its greatest appeal.’ – Reid’s Reader, 27 Februrary 2012
‘This is an absorbing selection of studies that traverses diverse subject matter.’ – Your Weekend, 17 March 2012
‘The breadth and variety of the selected photographic images and their accompanying texts make this book a rich and informative read.’ – Art News, Winter 2012
‘Harvey’s poetic evaluation ... confirms the eclectic richness of this anthology’ – David Eggleton, The Landfall Review Online, June 2012
A Memoir of Europe in the 1930s
'an eloquent memoir, which reveals a sharp intellect and a prose style as precise as ever...' - Iain Sharp, Sunday Star Times
'Geoffrey Cox strikes a rich vein of memory, but his book is more than a sober recording of notable events. The diet of information is enhanced by a sauce of personal observations... His sharpness of eye, his grasp of detail and his fine flowing prose make this an outstanding recital of events.' – Gordon Parry, The Star
'a worthy successor to the last defi nitive guide. Local historians, those
organisations who may be employing someone to write history, and all
who are contemplating researching, writing or publishing local history
should have access to this book.' – NZ Legacy, August 2007
'a "hands on" book with practical advice ... a most useful and helpful
publication' – Marlborough Express
'This is the one book that will be a must-have for all budding writers of
local and family histories who want to bring a professional authenticity
to their work. Recommended.' – Otago Daily Times
‘Her book is well-written, informative, entertaining and rich in quotation. It is also meticulously researched and annotated, abundantly illustrated, and has an excellent index.’ – NZ Books, Summer 2008
'Joanna Woods' biography of this complex, driven man is immensely readable...
Facing the Music is an exciting, elegant book of reference, excellently annotated, indexed and illustrated, which must be kept permanently on the bookshelf.' – Wairarapa Times, June 14 2008
'It's the first book-length study of Baeyertz ... It's long overdue and offers an interesting insight into several times and places.' Otago Daily Times, 16 June 2008
'As the subtitle indicates, Joanna Woods in Facing the Music attempted to "tell the story of the Triad through the biography of its creator." That story, she hoped, would "banish the myth that New Zealand had no viable cultural life before the 1930s". These aims are well achieved in this fully-researched and extremely readable book ... this fine exercise of historical scholarship and the historical imagination tells us much about a neglected period in New Zealand culture.' – Otago Daily Times, 21 June 2008
'A thoroughly enjoyable biography – Facing the Music is an engaging portrait of European New Zealand in the late 1800's into the twentieth century – This era has often been shunned by literary types, but Facing the Music goes where others haven't. Dr Woods doesn't miss a step. There's a delightful frothiness in her style overlying a rich scholarship.' – Scoop.co.nz Review of Books, May 25 2008
Read the full review here
'Woods covers the life of Baeyertz and of the journal with both enthusiasm and critical understanding, making her book a major contribution to cultural history in a period that is relatively unfamiliar to modern readers.'
– Years Work in English, vol. 89, no. 1, Sept 2010
The Pressure of Sunlight Falling
Edited by Kriselle Baker and Elizabeth Rankin
'This is a mid-career masterpiece' – NZ Listener (Read full review)
‘As a document of d’Urville’s South Pacific voyage, of pre-photographic recording, of connecting with the past through the power of image, and especially the unseverable connection of ancestry, The Pressure of Sunlight Falling has a resonance far beyond the obvious.’
– D Scene, 14 September 2011
‘Otago University Press now gives us Fiona Pardington: The Pressure of Sunlight Falling, an even more spectacular exploration of this fascinating interface of art and ethnography. ... in the form of Pardington’s sumptuous digital photographs, these ethnographic artefacts have completed their metamorphosis into spell-binding works of art.’ Full review
– Roger Blackley, Landfall Review Online, September 2011
‘… the images are spine-tingling, and [Pardington’s] served well by the book’s production and accompanying essays.’ – North and South, December 2011
'Thanks are due to author and publisher for chronicling the life of another of our unsung heroes.' – Jane Turner, New Zealand House and Garden
'...a very valuable study...' – Cassandra Fusco, World Sculpture News
Edited by Helen Leach
‘This book provides a decent overview of culinary traditions, and the essays highlight the major developments that have shaped New Zealand cooking.’ – CHOICE, Vol. 48, No. 11, July 2011
‘Each writer is an expert in their subject and presents well-researched, thoughtful and enlightening prose ... an excellent purchase for readers with an interest in New Zealand history and cuisine.’
– New Zealand Memories, Issue 89, April/May 2011
Helen Bethea Gardner
'The book I think will make important contributions to histories of anthropology, photography and collecting, linking them in new ways to the historiography of Australian and Pacific missions.' – Centre for Citizenship & Human Rights, no. 47, pp. 5-6, September 2006. Read the full review here
Ian St George
‘... a treasure trove for historians who want to see what the concerns and opinions of an articulate person in another age were.’ – Reid’s Reader, 20 February 2012
'He ranged across so many topics that St George sensibly abandons any notion of grouping the letters thematically and simply presents them chronologically.' – New Zealand Listener, 14–20 January 2012
‘This is a thoroughly good read’ – Waikato Times, 21 April 2012
Edited by Misha Kavka, Jennifer Lawn and Mary Paul
'You don't have to wear black mittens and a cloak to read it. This is a
genuine effort to explore the darker, uneasy side of our culture as it
appears in not only writing, but also painting, photography and especially
architecture.' – Wairarapa Times-Age
'very good art and writing' – NZ Books Spring 2007
The Art of John Pule
Edited by Nicholas Thomas
The Listener's team of reviewers named Hauaga: The Art of John Pule, edited by Nicholas Thomas, as one of the top 100 reads of 2010.
'Hauaga describes the engrossing path of the artist that brought him to create this new originality in Pacific art, in a readable and aesthetically pleasing manner. I couldn’t put it down.' – Nelson Mail, June 30, 2010
'In this impressive volume, the first to deal with Pule's art, Thomas displays an impressive knowledge of his subject's culture and influences.' – Art News, Spring 2010.
‘There can be no doubt that Pule is not resting on his laurels, for he is continuing to invent himself as an artist, and still producing vital and exciting works ... His journey is well recorded in both images and text, and now in this book.’ – The Lumiere Reader, 11 March 2011
'Hauaga contains good reproductions of some of this work, and the illustrations are benefited by the essays, first by Nicholas Thomas, director of Cambridge University's museum of archaeology and anthropology, who has a special interest in Pule's work; second by an interview between Thomas and Pule; and third by a thoughtful reflection by Gregory O'Brien on the competing creative forces in the artist ...'
– Otago Daily Times, 10 Jul 2010
'Hauaga is a distinguished example of ... an art book that is not a catalogue as such but is associated with a major exhibition ... The whole package is a worthy monument to one of the most vital, distinctive and engaging of contemporary artists.'
– Peter Simpson, Weekend Herald, June 12 2010
'It is a truly wonderful piece of publishing with the highest production values and ... at $120 it is a bargain priced way of getting 80+ Pule images!' – Graham Beattie, June 19, Beattie's Book Blog
'This is the first dedicated publication about the artist's work and will be the most comprehensive publication on the work of a living Pacific artist.' – Scoop, May 18 2010.
'Hauaga is, quite simply, very beautiful – and not just because of John Pule's intricate, fine-grained paintings.' – Kia Ora: Air New Zealand Inflight Magazine, Aug 2010
'Hauaga – and all it contains – is a thing of terrifying beauty.'
– Sunday Star Times, 26 Sept 2010
'Hauaga: The Art of John Pule is a fascinating story, one of those triumph over tragedy accounts, a tale of surmounting seemingly impossible odds involving the transformation of a life from alienation and violence to that of a respected artist and seminal figure in the world of Pacific culture...'
– Waikato Times, Friday Sept. 24 2010
'The book is superbly designed and is a most valuable contribution to the literature on New Zealand art and artists.'
Otago Daily Times, 10 July 2010
‘Hauaga is a detailed and involving examination of an artist who in many ways defines what has been called the “new Oceania”.’
– D Scene, 16 February 2011
Shortlisted for best typography in the PANZ Book Design Awards 2011
‘... a fascinating, thoroughly researched and eminently readable book ...’ – Good Teacher magazine, Term 1 2012
‘To put it bluntly: if you’re keen to understand or be a part of current debates on public education – read this book. It’s a detailed but readable (and delightfully illustrated) history of our “infant rooms”.’ – Education Aotearoa, Summer 2012
Helen May’s views on junior education and her new book I am Five and I go to School: Early Years Schooling in New Zealand 1900–2010 was the subject of a multi-page feature article in The Listener on 4 February. You can read it at http://tiny.cc/May
Edited by Sekhar Bandyopadhyay
‘This book’s editor and his team must be congratulated for their personal engagement and scholarly acumen which help fill a knowledge gap on an important section of the New Zealand population from many and diverse angles.' – The Landfall Review Online, March 2012
The story of a New Zealand South Asian Community
'Leckie has brilliantly captured the long journey between the arrival of those early scrub-cutters [in the late 1800s] and the 2006 appointment of Anand Satyanand as NZ's first governor-general of Asian ethnic origin.' – Waikato Times, Dec 2007
'Leckie is to be admired for the success she does achieve in treading a path among the varying requirements of scholarship, the Indian community and the general reader.' – Journal of Pacific History, December 2008
'This well researched and illustrated book is like a giant mirror that allows the reader a rare peek behind the familiar Indian restaurant, fruit store or corner dairy, or public cultural festival – into a rich history ... few of us would otherwise see.' Heritage Matters, Autumn 08
'It is an academic publication, but one that anyone with an interest in words, farming or New Zealand history will enjoy. You can dip in and out – and much more happily than a sheep in a washdyke' – Dominion Post December 12 2009
'Filled with evidence of the linguistic inventiveness and humour of rural New Zealanders, this book will be enjoyed by anyone who works with (or just enjoys) language.' – Reference and Research Book News, Feb 2010
I whanau au ki Kaiapoi
The story of Natanahira Waruwarutu, as recorded by Thomas Green
Te Maire Tau
'rewarding' – Your Weekend, 14 April 2012
'a fascinating facet of the tribe’s history.' – Waatea Radio 603AM, 11 April 2012
‘It is an amazing, well presented, true story.’ – Waikato Times, 24 March 2012
‘[Trotter] has done a fabulous job and produced a very professional, easily readable book on a vital historical figure.’ – The Southland Times, 13 July 2011
‘... a fascinating insight into early New Zealand politics ...’ – Heritage Matters, Issue 26, Autumn 2011
Poems by Ruth Dallas
'a beautifully produced volume by one of New Zealand's poetry doyennes. ... varied and a satisfying read' – World Literature in Review
Ka Taoka Hakena
Treasures from the Hocken Collections
Stuart Strachan and Linda Tyler (eds)
'National treasure ... The university is to be commended for the artistry with which they present these precious things – the volume makes accessible to wider audience treasures already viewable to all.' Sunday Star Times, February 2008
‘At first brush the concept of the book seems interesting, the ideal coffee-table book which can be picked up and any page flicked to but what the reader soon finds is that they are hooked into following a carefully constructed journey … An absolute must for all New Zealand libraries.’ – New Zealand Library and Information Management Journal, Vol. 50 No. 4 2008
'This highly informative book gives the rest of the country a glimpse into the wealth of treasures the Hocken collection now contains' – Art News, Summer 2007
'a beautiful book ... something the whole country can be proud of' –
Speaking Volumes, National Radio, 2 Nov
'handsomely produced' – Otago Daily Times, 27 Oct
The People's Bird
'...the recovery of the kiwi is ... inspiring. The game is long and hard
and it hasn't yet been won, but we are all in the team and there is good
reason for hope.' – Wairarapa Times
'Peat ... comes away feeling cautiously optimistic about the future of New
Zealand's national bird, thanks to an upsurge in community support and
participation in local projects. The book covers all aspects of kiwi life,
including an update on population genetics' – Dominion Post
'it's fascinating to read about the efforts of so many people to preserve habitat
and increase numbers of their local kiwi. The book provides much accurate
and current information about kiwi, and many photos. It is well written and is
good reading for anyone who spends time in the outdoors and would like to
know more about our national bird and its conservation.' Fed.Mountain Clubs
‘McLean is New Zealand’s leading maritime historian and as usual he has presented us with a highly readable, entertaining, thorough and profusely illustrated history …’ – Beattie’s Bookblog, 12 November 2008
‘This is a lively, fascinating account of early industry, bureaucracy and a colonial towns struggle for a sheltered port, and finally its preservation.’ – Heritage Matters, Summer 2008
‘Well illustrated in colour and black and white, this is an interesting history, combining facts with a readable story … it brought back memories of Holm boats, tetrapods, Robert Falcon Scott and the Victorian buildings of Dead Cat Alley. I cannot recommend this history too highly.’ – Scoop, 2 March 2009
‘One of the real strengths of this collection is that … a sense of the rich variety of Hyde’s output and the complexity of Hyde herself emerges … Another strength of Lighted Windows is the effort from several contributors to understand Hyde as more than a New Zealand writer, placing her in a transnational context, as a New Zealander engaged imaginatively and actually with other places, cultures and literatures … Hyde deserves writing about her that is as adventurous as she was. Lighted Windows achieves this often … – NZ Books, Winter 2009
Should be expected reading for all policy makers... – Good Teacher magazine
'This is a book by specialists for readers who already know much of Hyde's work and life and wish to look more closely ... to the right readers it could offer much.'
Scoop Review of Books, April
'Mary Edmond-Paul has gathered an esteemed number of New Zealand and international academics to critique the various stylistic and thematic issues that arise out of the significant wealth of Hyde's writing. It is a tribute to the richness and variety of the writer's contribution to the literature of her nation that each essay covers a unique description of her work and life ... this well-edited selection of essays is a fascinating overview of the vitality, wit and richness of Hyde's literature.' –
Wheldon's Reviews, April 2009
'It is an excellent book of a consistently high standard and adds much to our understanding of Hyde’s place in the story of her country’s literature.' – Years Work in English, vol. 89, no. 1, Sept 2010
‘Along with pieces on Hydes writing, Lighted Windows offers insights into the tragic life of one of New Zealand’s most powerful pre-World War II writers, whose progressiveness was ahead of her time’ – Journal of Commonwealth Literature, Vol. 45 No. 3, 2010
Michelle Thompson-Fawcett and Claire Freeman
'drawing on recent social science research ... offers fascinating insights into New
Zealand communities, and the editors have done us a service in compiling such
an interesting collection.' – NZ Geographical Society journal, 2007
'... Jenny Coleman has produced a fascinating book about an unusual and intriguing New Zealand woman.'
– Waikato Times, Aug 6 2010
'This attempt to unravel the facts of Bock's life and long criminal career depicts her as a more complex character than the legend suggests: a talented actor and lively company, driven not by simple greed but by a compulsion to play a part.' – Canvas Magazine, Weekend Herald, Aug 7 2010.
'It is well written and informative. While the topic may catch the attention of sensation seekers, the contents aim to provide social context and bring the reader to a better, even compassionate, understanding of Amy Bock's character.' – The Press, Aug 14 2010
'Read the book and find out how secrets, lies, fabrications, media accounts and selective disclosure complicate our picture of this fascinating women.' – Craig Young, gaynz.com, Aug 20 2010
'Coleman's achievement is greater [than that of Amy Bock's]: to make sense of a life that has a demonstrable grounding in reality, when most of what we’ve heard about it has been legend, not history' – NZ Listener, Aug 28 2010
'Jenny Coleman has done a fine job in researching Amy’s life… This surely will be the definitive biography of Amy to be read in future years … fascinating biography of a strange women'
– ODT Sat July 17 2010.
'... the most comprehensive biography yet of Amy Bock, who will forever be remembered…'
– North & South, August 2010
'It reads like a series of adventures, though it can’t have been easy to separate truth from fiction.'
– Heritage Matters, Issue 24, Spring 2010
‘Coleman has meticulously amassed a great deal of material, and brought it together into a resource that is comprehensive and fascinating. Her work advances our knowledge of her elusive and difficult subject, and will certainly entertain readers.’
– Women’s Studies Journal, Vol. 24, No. 2, December 2010
Poems by Kay McKenzie Cooke
'challenging and fresh ... honest in her verse.' – Otago Daily Times, 13 Oct
Making Our Place
Land-use Issues in Aotearoa New Zealand
Co-edited by Mick Abbott, Janet Stephenson and Jacinta Ruru
‘Here at last is a selection of possible alternatives to conflict and some sound ideas on the way forward from some of the best minds in the field .... It should be required reading for local authority officials, lobby groups and those with an interest in how we share and manage the land.’ – Waikato Times, 29 October 2011
'Short chapters on very different subjects make the book easy to dip into without the reader feeling the need to read it from cover to cover in a single sitting. ... Overall, this is an informative and readily enjoyed work ...' – Survey Quarterly
'100% Pure? Yeah, right: could have been the alternative title of Making Our Place, which provides a thorough, informed and engaging look at the many ways our presence has shaped and scarred the Aotearoa New Zealand landscape. It reveals several sources of land-use tensions in NZ – between Maori and Pakeha, development and protection, dairying and tourism – but its key contribution is in how these tensions are managed and resolved. ... By not avoiding these issues, what is revealed is the overall tension between our own short, selective, human memories, and the capacity of the landscape to retain the scars, and memories, of our impact upon it.' – New Zealand Surveyor No. 301
‘… what a great reference book for all students of NZ’s literary history. Every secondary school, university and public library in the land should have multiple copies.’ – Beatties Bookblog, 12 November 2008
'This substantial volume, with its revelatory portraits of each fellow, becomes a worthy guide to the matters and manners of a half-century of work by some (not all) of our finest writers. Jones notes that women writers have increasingly become Fellows in later years.' –
Wairarapa Times-Age, 21 March 2009
Coming Out in the Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand
‘Buy and enjoy this book, and give it to your loved ones to read as well. It is a welcome addition to our small treasure of books about our world.’ – Tamaki Makaurau Lesbian Newsletter, September 2011
‘This is a powerful book. You don’t have to be gay or lesbian to find these stories moving. I hope that they are heard with attentiveness and respect.’ – Touchstone, October 2011
The Story of a New Zealand Family
'An incredible achievement, and there are tales in here to which we will all respond, both triumphs and tragedies. Congratulations to the writer on her vivid reconstruction, and to Otago University Press for publishing such an important documentary.' – Bravado Magazine, accessed May 24 2010
‘… a candid, fascinating family and social history book spanning generations in both New Zealand and the UK. It’s hard to believe that Ann knew very little about her family history before embarking on assembling the jigsaw puzzle into a very enjoyable story.’ – Heritage Matters, Winter 2009
'[Thwaite offers] insightful glimpses into the lives, times and characteristics of this achieving, literate family' – NZ Listener, 13 March 2010
'The detailed family history...explores the sense of belonging one feels to the country of birth but also to the country of one's immediate forebears. A wonderful book for anyone contemplating their own family history.'
– Latitude Canterbury, Issue 9 Spring 2009
'The author of five major biographies, Thwaite's works tend to take several years to complete. Subjects have been children's author A.A. Milne, Edmund Gosse, his father Philip Henry Gosse, Frances Hodgson Burnett and Emily Tennyson. This time, the subject matter is closer to home ... In Passageways Thwaite's own family secrets have been uncovered.'
The Timaru Herald, 2 May 2009
‘There’s a wealth of colourful, stimulating and often funny (I think) illustrations, like Tane Raises His Eyebrows and the Do-It-Yourself Repatriation Kit and gentle fun is poked at some of the qualms of the “high art” sector while preconceptions about “thieving bastards” are just as gently discarded. This learned publication will serve as a guidebook for future collaborations within our own communities as well as over the water.’ – Wairarapa Times-Age, November 2008
Stories and Soundscapes from Colonial New Zealand
'Moffat’s research is wide-ranging and interesting. The stories give a splendid patchwork history of the importance of the piano in this country in the years before talking movies, the phonograph and radio.' – Otago Daily Times, 28 April 2012
'A meticulously researched book which has an interesting juxtaposition of hard facts and quoted recollections which gradually lead us through the trials of progressing early childhood education, home, state and play centre, through to the development of Te Kohanga and the emergence of Kohanga Reo programmes.
This book made extremely interesting reading. It covers too much ground to be able to acknowledge even a portion of it here in a short review. Helen May gives the reader excellent coverage of a service which for too many years was undervalued and often ridiculed or ignored. She offers perceptive observations on where we are currently at and what challenges are already arising which may well inform another chapter in the not too distant future.
Politics in the Playground is a most readable, well researched and engrossing text. This could well provide an informative background learning opportunity to early childhood providers and training students, in fact I would recommend it as required reading for anyone interested in any aspect of education in New Zealand.' – Good Teacher, 2009
'Helen May has done more than any one person to sew together events and memories into the backstory so necessary for the early childhood sector's self identity... As a whole, Politics in the Playground is still the book that defines the historic politicking in and around e.c.e. It's good to see the updated version covering the years of relative warmth from central government.'
– Early Education Volume 45 Autumn/Winter 2009
'Klier is indebted to these survivors for their courage in telling what are unbelievably painful and complicated stories. She weaves them together well... It is, then, not so much a collection of personal histories as a book of important recent history, personalised'
– NZ Listener, 13 March 2010
'This is a remarkable story of human tragedy and the will to survive. Freya Klier has filled in much background history, and treated the personal stories she was told with dignity and truth. The book is a fitting memorial and tribute to many brave people.' – The Southland Times, 22 October 2011
'The author, who is a film director and civil rights and peace activist, and has written several books on wartime Germany, writes with clarity and directness. History comes alive in this must-read book.' – Your Weekend, Jan 23 2010.
'Freya Klier casts her net wide in detailing the poignant stories of 24 European Jews who, after many varying travails in the horrific pre-war period of Nazi Germany, eventually found sanctuary in New Zealand ... Klier backgrounds those pre-war Teutonic horrors and their effect on the book's main protagonists with skill.' – Otago Daily Times, 23 January, 2010.
'The author traces the journeys of the refugees and skilfully weaves together their personal stories as they unfold on both sides of the world – stories of incomprehensible horror, hatred and suspicions. They touch the core of one’s emotions, are hard to comprehend in our time, but must not be forgotten'
– Heritage Matters, Issue 22, Autumn 2010
'Freya Klier has done these people a major service by tracing their story from Europe to NZ ... Not being German or Jewish, I picked up this book wondering whether it would have any relevance so many years later. It turned out to be a book that is impossible to read objectively. Here is human tragedy and the will to survive written on a huge scale by tracing the lives of a few.'
– Nelson Mail; Accessed 13/2/2010
'Along with the Author, I hope this book will be read by a younger generation'
– Hawke's Bay Today; Sat, Feb 20, 2010
‘This book is easy to read as a cross between a history, an adventure story, and a novel.’ – AVOTAYNU, Summer 2010
Protecting New Zealand at the Border
'The general reader, especially anyone who has been fascinated by the TV Series Border Patrol, will find this very readable, interesting account of an essential service which by international standards is not only independent but influential in maintaining these standards.' – Waikato Times, Friday September 17 2010
'This book is lavishly and beautifully illustrated with old and new photographs, making it visually appealing as well as highly informative.' – Heritage Matters, Issue 24, Spring 2010
‘Quarantine! is a nicely presented and colourful book, and the care and attention over its appearance enhances its accessibility … provides an informative and accessible account of quarantine administration in New Zealand and would make a good reference text for anyone embarking on research that touches on biosecurity in New Zealand.’
– Environment and Nature in New Zealand, Vol 6, No. 1, July 2011
Tene Waitere, Maori Carving, Colonial History
'...a fascinating account, through the lens of a highly gifted practitioner, of the circulation of indigenous art within a global context of empire, tourism and trade... It's an informative and thought-provoking book.'
– New Zealand Herald, 15 August
‘Rauru … is both a very beautiful and interesting book … a successful one in which history, sociology and biography are married to an ancient art.’ – Otago Daily Times, 25 July
'Photographer Mark Adams has been working at the fertile interface of Pakeha, Maori and Pacific culture for more than three decades, and his elegant, large-format pictures are a highlight of Rauru, an "experimental" study of the colonial-era Maori carver Tene Waitere.'
- Your Weekend, 15 August
‘What happens when an anthropologist and an artist go in search of a long-dead carver? Some of the results can be seen in Mark Adams' large-format photos of the work of Ngati Tarawhai carver Tene Waitere (1854–1931) ... Adams says his work is driven by a desire to challenge the conventions of anthropology and ethnological image making. “I want to be the Burton Brothers in reverse,” says Adams, referring to the colonial-era photographers whose slides and postcards of Maori scenes scrupulously removed any modern trappings. “The modern context is as much a part of the images as the work of Tene Waitere.”’ – NZ Herald, July 2009.
Read the full article here
'Rauru is not claimed to be a comprehensive documentary of Tene's life but an exhibition in book form for people who might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience these works of art. Featured works include Hinemihi, the house which sheltered people, including Tene and his family, at Te Wairoa during the 1886 Mt Tarawera eruption, and Rauru - carvings from the original gateway to Rauru at Whakarewarewa, Rotorua ... with stunning black and white images from the past as well as the works of art in their present settings within New Zealand, England and Germany. Rauru is a beautiful book.' – Heritage Matters, Issue 20 Spring 2009
Queen of Paradise
'... [a] warm and delightfully written biography...' – Gavin McLean, Otago Daily Times
'... essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the history of Tonga in the 20th century.' – Wendy Cowling, Waikato Times
The Story of L.E. Richdale, the Royal Albatross and the Yellow-eyed Penguin
The book is overall very well written and researched, displaying the author’s incredible attention to detail.’ – The Star, 16 February 2012
‘This gem of a book is thoroughly researched and, above all, generously illustrated.’
– Forest and Bird, Issue 343, February 2012
Essays on Science and Philosophy
"Secular Sermons is a keeper....As a science student, teacher and researcher I appreciate this book as the most accessible introduction to the history and philosophy of science I've ever read, and as a source of encouragement and inspiration in my work. But enough about me. Now, go out and get yourself a copy.' - Critic, No. 28, October 2009.
Women and Migration in New Zealand History
Edited by Lyndon Fraser & Katie Pickles
'each study makes a very readable selfcontained
story of cultural and ethnic
understanding' – Dominion Post
'essential reading' – The Press
'Barrar's work is provocative because it confronts the viewer with the effects our daily needs have on the landscape – in a quiet, unsensational way.' – Art News
'... thought-provoking ... startling ... These are the sorts of pictures worth 1000 words.' – Otago Daily Times
Ray Forster and Lyn Forster
'The spider world is hungry for this book! There is nothing available like it - everything else is either weighty scientific tomes or inaccurate introductions with glossy pictures. This is elegant and accurate.' – Dr Robert Raven, President of the International Society of Arachnologists
'rich material for teachers ... I will treasure this book' – Rose Hipkins, New Zealand Education Review
'...an excellent record of what makes the island special.'
– Gillian Vine, Southland Times
'Indispensible, both for beginners and for experts' – Trevor Burnard, Dominion
'An essential and affordable tool for any researcher.' – Diana Masters, Waikato Times
'This is one of those books every writer should have.' – Cushla Managh, NZ Writers' Website
'Davis presents a mixture of the innocent, the profane, the sweet and the sour, the whisper and the growl – shown on ripped out pages. ... Leigh Davis, elusive, suspiciously corporate, intellectually difficult, speaks to us beyond the grave. Stunning Debut of the Repairing of a Life is a book full of emotion, charm and heartfelt honesty.' – Hamesh Wyatt, Otago Daily Times, 6 Nov 2010
‘Stunning debut of the repairing of a life by the late Leigh Davis is one of those increasingly rare books that not only dares to but succeeds in augmenting our stuff of life.’ – The Landfall Review Online, 1 June 2011. Read more
Won best typography in the PANZ Book Design Awards 2011.
‘As you travel through the visual stutterings and the hiccupping sounds of the book, you fall upon lines you want to hold to the light and marvel at.’ – Weekend Herald, 14 May 2011
N.B. You can read more from the Weekend Herald review of McQueen, Davis and Eggleton at: http://tinyurl.com/NZpoems
Croats and Maori in New Zealand
'The application of theory to historical evidence is exemplary. Moreover, the sheer depth and intensity of the author’s analysis deserves the highest praise. ...Tarara is a very rewarding read. It shows what can be achieved when historical enquiry and ethnographic fieldwork are combined in innovative and exciting ways.'
– NZ Journal of History, Vol. 44, No. 1. April 2010 (reviewed by Lyndon Fraser.
'Dalmatia and the less than romantic experiences of life in the gum fields, including contact and intermarriage with local Maori, are painstakingly described ... the later recollections and descriptions of Far North museums are fascinating as are the reflections of embittered young inheritors of the Tarara identity. Difficult reading but worth the effort.'
– Wairarapa Times-Age
'As a full-length study of the Maori–Dalmatian relationship, this book makes a notable contribution to the study of New Zealand. Bozic-Vrbancic...supplements her oral histories with a significant array of historical material, drawing on the work of Hans-Peter Stoffel, newspaper stories, government reports, personal letters, poetry, fiction, photographs, and other ephemera... As a record of experiences in danger of being forgotten, this work is a great success.'
– New Zealand Slavonic Journal, Vol. 42
'... Tarara is well written and only seldom descends into jargon, despite a very heavy theoretical base. The variety of sources employed is commendable and ranges from interviews and photographs to historical records. These are further enhanced by the use of illustrations which complement and highlight the text.' – Journal of Pacific History, Vol. 45, No. 2, September 2010
The Gift of Stories
Discovering How to Deal with Mental Illness
Gathered by Julie Leibrich
'authentic and genuinely moving...this collection is a reminder of how fragile we are. But, surprisingly perhaps, the message is not depressing.' – Ross Lay, Sunday Star Times
'health professionals will learn something from [this book]. I certainly did.' – Dr Paul Berks, Northern Advocate
'very positive...inspiring' – Anna Luxton, Hawkes Bay Today
Edited by Janet Wilson
'This fine edition of the stories that are perhaps Davin's best offers contemporary readers a chance to experience them as a completed set ... The 'attractive illustrated hardback format ... is appropriate for a definitive edition.' Otago Daily Times, Feb 2008
'The book includes 12 stories from that volume, eight from Breathing Spaces (1975) and six previously uncollected stories.... I hadn’t read them before, and I’m grateful to Wilson for re-presenting Davin’s yarns about a culture that seeded people like me." – The Listener, January 12-18 2008, Vol 212, No 3531. Read the full article
'These 26 stories are so brilliantly crafted those to whom his wiriting is new are in for a rare treat, while those familiar with his work can look forward to a renewal of initial pleasure.' – Wairarapa Times-Age, Dec 2007
New Zealand's Governors and
'a grand work ... one of the most satisfying books released in New Zealand last
year. ... a comprehensive and quite fascinating biographical record. The Governors
is a very fine achievement.' – NZ Books, September 2007
'this is a very easy-going and entertaining read that will be of interest
and relevance to a wider audience than the subject matter might at
first suggest ... there is plenty here to stimulate an affectionate
reappraisal of this peculiar old institution.' – Wairarapa Times
The Pavlova Story
A Slice of New Zealand's Culinary History
• Winner 'Food Book of the Year' at the New Zealand Guild of Food Writers' Culinary Quills Awards 2009
• Lifestyle and Contemporary Finalist, Montana Book Awards 2009
'The Pavlova Story will set your sweet tooth singing. From gelatin to meringue, little to large, uncooked to microwaved, Leach explores pavlovas of all shapes, sizes and ingredients ... Leach's thorough research is relayed in a relaxed, readable style and is nicely complemented by a range of colour illustrations. Even more delightful is the inclusion of classic pavlova recipes – converted to metric, remade and photographed by food-writer Mary Browne.'
– New Zealand Memories, Issue 80 October/November 2009
'The Pavlova Story is superbly written, informed and informative, making it highly recommended reading for anyone with an interest in distinctive regional and cultural culinary traditions in general, and the pavlova tea cake in particular.'
– Wisconsin Bookwatch, November 2009 (Midwest Book Review)
'The carefully placed illustrations, old advertisements, and book covers from Leach’s collection enliven her book and make it fun. Written in a style that is somewhat chatty, it will appeal to both interested cooks and more serious students of culinary history with its well researched and documented details.' – Gastronomica, Summer 2009
'Leach is firmly in charge of her plethora of scholarly information and confidently leads us down the side roads of associated social history, including wartime rationing, the demise of afternoon tea, the influence of kitchen appliances and the introduction of metrics. The text is enriched by images of old cookbook covers and advertisements, hints for making pavlovas and 12 classic pavlova recipes updated, tried, tested and photographed by Mary Browne.' – The Listener
‘Somehow McQueen has managed to capture the entire world and fold it between covers.’
– NZ Listener, 19 February 2011
‘McQueen allows words to slip stream rhythmically off her tongue onto the page – delicious.’ – D Scene, 19 January, 2011
‘Her distinctive voice shimmers with just the right amount of pathos to induce repeated reads.’ – Otago Daily Times, 29 January, 2011
‘[McQueen’s] newest collection of verse, The Radio Room, reinforces her standing in the poetry world’ – Waikato Times, 25 March 2011
‘Cilla McQueen, like John Newton, has large issues to ponder, and they’re addressed as much by the studiedly casual, allusive form of her book as by the individual poems and sketches it contains.’ – Landfall 221, Autumn 2011
‘The Radio Room favours nostalgia, wit, playfulness, observation and bite, and includes some standout poems.’ – Weekend Herald, 14 May 2011
The Real McKay
The Remarkable Life of Alexander McKay
‘Bishop’s scholarship is excellent, including a good balance of explanation, photographs and quotes from the period. It is also very readable. This book will appeal to history buffs but I hope it attracts a wider audience. 10 out of 10 for remarkable and cranky old Scotsmen. Where would we be without them?’ – Southland Times, July 2009
‘Graham Bishop sees McKay’s studies of Earth processes as underpinning contemporary neo-tectonics. He produces plenty of evidence and narratives to support the claim. He offers a nice blend of anecdote and scientific context… It’s a respectful and attentive life story; McKay would probably have given an approving grunt.’ – NZ Books, Winter 2009
'The Real McKay will appeal to anyone interested in the history of the New Zealand outdoors ... a welcome and wonderfully well-crafted addition to that rich storehouse, the history of New Zealand geology.'
Geological Society of New Zealand Newsletter 148 (April 2009)
‘This is an exceptional book that will be enjoyed by all readers with interests in geology, exploration or history … That McKay was a giant of 19th century New Zealand geological science has always been sensed, but never has it been so well described and accounted for as it is in Graham Bishop’s delightful new book.’ – Australian Geologist, April 2009
'...this book is a great deal more than the facts of science. Well illustrated, it is packed with tales of adventures, humour and poems written by McKay who, even as a young boy, fancied himself as the teenage successor to Robbie Burns.'
Heritage Matters, Autumn 2009
'It will appeal to anyone interested in the history of the New Zealand outdoors. Graham Bishop breathes more life than I'd have thought possible into this folk-hero of New Zealand science, whose abilities and accomplishments would render him a giant in any modern company.'
– FMC Bulletin, review August
The Ship of Dreams
Masculinity in contemporary Pakeha and Maori fiction of Aotearoa/New Zealand
'It is a thoughtful and erudite work and sets an interesting new direction in the study of New Zealand literature.'
– NZ Books
'The real interest in The Ship of Dreams surely lies in the author's examination of the Maori-inflected text of Witi Ihimaera and Alan Duff, for ... Alistair Fox explores how the problems within New Zealand male culture reside in psychological damage inflicted by behaviours of parents that spring from aspects of Pakeha and Maori cultural legacies.' – Journal of Pacific History, 44: 3.
'... as with the craft taken over the book's presentation, it's often the small poetic details which make this collection such a stunning read ... On the strength of the Summer King, Joanna Preston is a name we'll surely be hearing a lot more of in the future.' – Takehe 69 review, May 2010 (reviewer: Siobhan Harvey)
'Preston takes risks. She mixes it up and follows her nose on what she produces ... The Summer King is a great new work.' – Hamesh Wyatt, Otago Daily Times, 24th October 2009
'It's a dazzling debut ... These poems are beautifully worked, insightful, emotionally gentle yet unsettling ...' – Waikato Times, 4 December 2009.
Preston is unusual on the contemporary NZ poetry scene in writing narrative poetry but her work is also distinguished by strength of structure; her command over the poetic form, including line endings, metre, and the rhythm and flow of the poetry; the emotional power of her work, and its range, from raw to delicate; also her mastery of the subtle nuance as well as not shying away from more in-your-face imagery … The Summer King is a landmark collection that may well prove to be seminal in staking out a fresh approach to NZ poetry in the 21st century.’ – Beatties Book Blog, June 2009
The Summer King has been shortlisted for the prestigious Australian Mary Gilmore Award
From the judge's report:
'Joanna Preston’s title poem, the first in the book, jolts the reader with its imaginativeness and dramatic power, and these qualities are apparent in all the poems that follow. A strong grasp of the actual underlies imaginative representations of both the natural world and the humanly made, generating a dramatic intensity, even in the quieter poems. This is a book of succinct, taut writing that displays a depth of imaginative thought.' – Mary Gilmore Award judge's report
'This debut collection is gratifying and satisfying. It is earthy, technically assured, and utterly accessible.
'Review from a fine line, November 2009
Helen Leach, Mary Browne and Raelene Inglis
‘Once you have got your mouth watering – and it will be – you can then turn an entertaining history in to a practical cook book. No stone is left unturned – there is even a history of royal icing and instructions for how to make your own. ... Fun, enlightening, and filling. A perfect Christmas treat.’ – D-Scene, 21 December 2011
‘This is a fine example of intelligent research and commentary combined with practical and well-tested recipes that a serious cook will not want to be without.’ – New Zealand Listener, 3 December 2011
Feature aricles also appeared in the Otago Daily Times, Sunday Star Times, Timaru Herald, again in the ODT, on Radio NZ and Stuff.co.nz, and the book was named one of the top cookbooks of 2011 in The Listener
Essays by C.K. Stead
'This is Stead at his best, both compelling and entertaining.'
– Jan Cronin, Evening Post
'Eminently dip-into-able, yet sophisticated and witty...'
– New Zealand Herald
Poems by Jennifer Compton
‘This little collection is dark and exciting. In a little over 40 poems Compton moves quickly around the world … viscerally engaging and lyrically lethal.’
– Otago Daily Times, 13 August 2011
'With a confident understanding of how to ratchet up then relax tension over consecutive lines, Compton seems the most alert of all the poets here to poetry’s compressed dramatic powers. Also the most at ease in diverse forms, she flickflacks happily from cento, to poignant lyric, to a more postmodern, sculptural sense of white space and to type placed like small visual shocks. ... Compton’s scathing eye for the sordid and cruel and her empathy for the dispossessed suggest someone as pushed into print by a sense of political injustice as she is by a dark wit that pranks around disaster in this bracing collection.' – NZ Listener
'This is a handsome book, a strong handsome book. Within the warmth of its hardback covers a body of poetry rests, inviting the intrepid reader to explore cities that have accommodated the poet and triggered her imagination.’ – Scoop Review of Books
'Though the collection’s sections are ‘In Italy’, ‘In New Zealand’ and ‘In Australia’, it’s Compton’s more informal environments which construct the true poetic panorama of This City and which have the most forceful impact on the reader. Florence, Genoa, Moxham Avenue, Hataitai, ‘Palmy’ (according to the title of one of the collection’s poems), the Yarra Ranges, Kings Park: in these settings, Compton alights upon small, personal incidents and uses them to speak of things which hold universal relevance' – Landfall Review Online
‘Eggleton’s gifts for the sounding line and the startling image are genuine and must be the envy of many a poet.’
– NZ Listener, 19 February 2011
‘Eggleton is our ear to the ground and eye on the world, reminding us of the balefulness of it all, at times even sounding like some latter-day glazed-eyed prophet crying out in the wilderness streets and overcrowded shopping malls, denouncing modern-day demons.’ – Waikato Times, 25 March 2011
‘Gasping for breath, hand riffling through hair, galloping over, under and through words this is the David Eggleton I’m familiar with.’ – D Scene, 19 January 2011
‘... beautiful, mysterious and uplifting ...’ – Otago Daily Times, 29 January 2011
‘Time of the Icebergs is a sumptuous buffet – the tables laden with tropical flavours, lush colour and the astute taste buds of the cook … Take any poem in this collection and you will strike an inventive ear as you hear the dazzling alliteration, assonance and rhyme.’ – Weekend Herald, 14 May 2011
‘It functions as a series of discrete lyrical pieces, from varying standpoints and geographic locations.’
– Landfall 221, Autumn 2011
Edited by Alison Jones
'... it is a long time since I discussed a book with other people as much as I have Touchy Subject. It is a book worth reading, worth lending and worth debating.' – Mark Sheehan, Evening Post
'I would certainly recommend this book to teachers and social workers alike, as it provides valuable insight into some practices, as well as some challenge to them ...' – Stephen Jenkins, Social Work Now
William Hodges, Cook’s painter in the South Pacific
‘... a book of great scholarship.’ – Reid’s Reader, 14 May 2012
‘... stimulating reading.’ – North and South, June 2012
‘This would be a good addition to the library of historians with an interest in the early explorers of the Pacific.’ – Waikato Times, 21 April 2012
‘For anyone with a keen interest in New Zealand’s first Pakeha artist ... this book is a must read’ – Art News, Winter 2012
Edited by Kevin Dew and Anna Matheson
'This edited book is a significant contribution to our knowledge about the social determinants of health inequalities and some of the strategies that have been designed to overcome them.'
– Kotuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online, 2009, Vol. 4: 155-157 (Published June 3, 2009)
Discovering the Natural History of Central Otago
Neville Peat & Brian Patrick
• Shortlisted in the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, 2000
'As a reference, and as an "armchair" book evocative of the charms of Central Otago, this book is a pleasure.' – Forest & Bird
'highly recommended.' – John Darby, Otago Daily Times
'The authors love and know their subject well and this shows through in the wealth of information imparted. The stunning photographs transport the reader into the very heart of the region. For those of us not able to go there ourselves, this book must be the next best thing.' – New Zealand Gardener
The Possibility of Wilderness in Aotearoa New Zealand
Edited by Mick Abbott and Richard Reeve
‘The writers are as varied a bunch as the outback itself and provide views to match … Wild Heart should clarify and enrich the way we think about a vital component of the kiwi identity.’
– NZ Listener, February 11 2012
‘Otago University’s Mick Abbott and Richard Reeve have edited an important and wide-ranging book on wilderness’.
– FMC Bulletin, no. 186, November 2011
Wild Heart is a lively mixture of ideas and deserves to be read and discussed.’ – The Landfall Review Online, June 2012