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July 24, 2016

It’s subversive, wry, and more than a little bit vulgar—in short, the things that make modern poetry fresh and exciting.

July 17, 2016

★★★★ Author: Paula Boock Publisher: Longacre Press, Dunedin   My family lives in Christchurch. More than five years after the devastating 2011 earthquakes, our house has finally been given the green light to be demolished. This trip home is likely one of the last times I’ll stay in the house I’ve called home for almost […]

May 29, 2016

★★★★★ Author: Max Porter Publisher: Faber & Faber   “Moving on, as a concept, is for stupid people, because any sensible person knows grief is a long-term project.” Grief is the Thing with Feathers is the story of a father and his two young sons, who are adrift in loss after the death of their […]

May 29, 2016

★★★ Author: Yewande Omotoso Publisher: Chatto & Windus   There is something precious, but disconcerting, about being placed in the head of an eighty-year-old woman as she goes about her life. There are two elderly women facing off in this restrained South African story: Hortensia, a black designer, recently widowed, versus Marion, a white architect, […]

May 22, 2016

★★★★ Author: Simon Hanselmann Publisher: Fantagraphics Books   Most of you will remember the picture book adventures of Meg and Mog from childhood—a witch and her cat, along with their friend Owl, getting up to weird, brightly coloured shenanigans. Well, Australian cartoonist Simon Hanselmann has taken those classic characters we know from our most innocent […]

May 22, 2016

★★★★★ “Music is a gift and a burden I’ve had since I can remember who I was.”   Author: Alan Light Publisher: Canongate   Inspired by the Netflix documentary of the same name, this biography charts the tempestuous life of musical prodigy and civil rights activist Nina Simone. Simone was born Eunice Waymon, in North […]

May 15, 2016

★★★★★ Editors: Fergus Barrowman, with Kirsten McDougall & Ashleigh Young Publisher: Victoria University Press   Sport is an institution of New Zealand publishing and has shared short fiction, poetry, and nonfiction with a wide audience since 1988. Published annually, it’s a fantastic way for both new and established writers to showcase work, and serves as […]

May 15, 2016

★★★★★ Author: Han Kang (translated by Deborah Smith) Publisher: Portobello Books   Sinister, surreal, beguiling—that’s how I would describe this fantastic novel from South Korean author Han Kang. First published in South Korea in 2007, the novel was translated to English by Deborah Smith in 2015. The Vegetarian is currently on the shortlist for the […]

May 8, 2016

★★★★ Author: Arlene Heyman Publisher: Bloomsbury   Arlene Heyman’s journey into literary recognition has been a little unusual. At 74 years of age, Scary Old Sex—a collection of short stories, is her first publication. Heyman is a practicing psychiatrist in New York City, and has spent the last 50 years writing in her spare time […]