226–256 Lambton Quay Borders is Wellington’s biggest bookshop, and one of the newest. Prior to its opening there was apprehension that the 800-pound gorilla of chain bookstores would gobble up all the competition in town and replace it with 52-week Dan Brown festivals and sundry other tributes to the mediocre and blandly commercial.
Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Baghdad’s Green Zone (Bloomsbury Publishing, London, 2006). Hypothetical: You are restructuring a country in economic peril. Part of the restructuring requires a new stock exchange. You need to find someone to be in charge of this. Would you pick a 24-year-old man, with no experience in […]
Thomas E Ricks, Fiasco: the American Military Adventure in Iraq (Penguin, London, 2006). One of the most significant and controversial wars of our time is the Iraq war. The war is notable for the failure of the US military to install a Western-style democracy in Iraq instead finding itself faced with a in a quagmire […]
Riverbend, Baghdad Burning (riverbendblog.blogspot.com) As a 17 year old wannabe dissident, I derived large amounts of pleasure from churning out mediocre pieces of writing on topical issues, my favourite at the time being the military fiasco otherwise known as Iraq.
Colby Buzzell, My War: Killing Time in Iraq (Berkeley Caliber, New York, 2006), p 368. My War: Killing Time in Iraq is a light-hearted and fascinating book. The first of the ‘war-bloggers’ to enter print, Buzzell describes his experiences on the ground in Operation Iraqi Freedom, from his post in Mosul, Iraq.
Evan Wright, Generation Kill (Transworld Publishers, London, 2004), p446. Embedded reporters, who accompany armies into battle wearing their uniform, have got a bad rap. Robert Fisk regularly accuses them of being gung-ho propaganda parasites, which they often are.
New Fiction Mo Zhi Hong, The Year of the Shanghai Shark (Auckland, Penguin, 2008) Hai Long is an orphaned pickpocket, living with his uncle on the money provided by rich foreigners’ wallets in the North-Eastern Chinese city of Dalian during 2003 – the year of SARS and the invasion of Iraq.
The Third Policeman Flann O’Brien Brian O’Nolan’s job prevented him from writing under his own name, so over the course of hundreds of newspaper columns and God only knows how many letters to the editor of The Irish Times, he wrote under noms de plume. In fact, he wrote under so many different names that […]
Amy Brown, The Propaganda Poster Girl, (VUP, Wellington, 2008). Amy Brown’s first collection of poetry, The Propaganda Poster Girl, is a clearly written rest stop for a weary student, and, as imagined in the poem ‘Brain’, a petrol station for the brain. A creative writing MA graduate, the Biggs Prize-winning poet deals with family, travel, […]