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Books

March 6, 2016

★★★ Editors—Claudia Pond Eyley & Dan Salmon Publisher—Auckland University Press     Biographies can be disappointing. They rarely keep their promise of allowing you to vicariously experience genius, fame, scandal. Some are salacious and self-aggrandizing (see: Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis). Others are bland and insincere. What I found enjoyable about Inside Stories, however, is […]

March 6, 2016

★★★★ Author—Carrie Brownstein Publisher—Virago   Carrie Brownstein has become increasingly familiar to the public in recent years due to the success of sketch-show Portlandia, the archetype-skewering collaboration with Fred Armisen that showcases her comedic prowess. Before Portlandia Carrie was one third of Sleater-Kinney, the riot grrrl band that formed in Olympia, Washington in the early […]

February 28, 2016

★★★   Written by—Lauren Groff Publisher—Penguin Random House     Lancelot and Mathilde meet at the close of college, locking eyes across a room at a wild party. He is the handsome and popular thespian star, destined to soar to great heights; she is a strikingly beautiful recluse, an anomaly to everyone around her. Two […]

February 28, 2016

★★★★★   Edited by—Susanna Andrew & Jolisa Gracewood Publisher—Auckland University Press     You may have heard that investigative journalism is endangered in New Zealand. Funding cuts to television and print publications mean we see more Masterchef and less hard-hitting journalism. Despite this problem plaguing mainstream media, there are still a plethora of voices speaking […]

February 21, 2016

    If you’re new to Wellington this year you’ll want to be clued up on some of the places you can get your book fix. Browsing book shops is a unique experience, one that won’t be diminished even in this age of Netflix-based instant gratification. There’s nothing quite like taking the time to look, […]

October 11, 2015

I had planned to write on Patti Smith’s new book, M Train, this week. I had schmoozed a rep at Allen & Unwin to convince her I should get an advance copy. Days later it arrived, and I began. I had a list of books to read; I had a planned schedule, and M Train […]

October 4, 2015

For this one, I read a lot of reviews. It was my first Franzen, you see. But nevertheless, it didn’t feel right. So I needed to see what others, those who knew his work better, were thinking. Gawker proclaims, “Call a piece of shit a piece of shit!”, while The Atlantic is more ready to […]

October 4, 2015

“I sat on a curb in Takaka, trying to think clearly about mixed feelings. Being alone was what I wanted, being alone was not what I wanted… I wanted to want a regular life: the usual husband, the usual apartment, sidewalks, noises and so on. But I had left it, I had gone elsewhere…” In […]

September 20, 2015

Starling is New Zealand’s newest literary journal, focusing on fresh young voices. Poet and current Burns Fellow Louise Wallace is the person behind this initiative. I talked to her to find out more about the journal. With their first issue looming, she wants submissions—that poem, essay, or short fiction piece you’ve worked on might be […]