News of New Zealanders via Global Media

Giving voice to the past

Giving voice to the past

Lynda Chanwai-Earle’s challenging one-woman play about growing up Chinese in NZ – Ka Shue (‘Letters Home’) – earned her a major write-up in Hawaii’s Star Bulletin. Described as a “fascinating look at a relatively…

Literary dairy export

Literary dairy export

Sarah-Kate Lynch has forsaken editorship of New Zealand Woman’s Weekly in favour of a career in fiction, with a first novel Blessed Are the Cheesemakers. While Guardian reviewer Helen Falconer finds the book “somewhat…

Edge of the alphabet conjurer has cancer

Edge of the alphabet conjurer has cancer

SMH pays tribute to Janet Frame – “one of New Zealand’s most celebrated and enigmatic writers” – who recently revealed she is terminally ill with cancer. Frame’s biographer Michael King (Wrestling with the Angel)…

Epilogue Written to a Life of Words

Epilogue Written to a Life of Words

NZ lost one of its edgiest inhabitants with the death of Janet Frame from acute myeloid leukemia on January 29. Frame, the author of 11 novels, 5 collections of short stories, a poetry collection,…

Taylor electrifies critics

Taylor electrifies critics

NZ writer Chad Taylor impresses international critics with his new noir novel, Electric. Pulp: “Dark, intense, fast-paced, and perceptive, both noir literary thriller and pulp crime fiction Cool, surreal and sexy – make…

Good clean ball

Good clean ball

“Small but perfectly formed.” Lloyd Jones’ The Book of Fame included in SMH‘s tribute to the short novel, or novella. Jones joins the likes of Michael Ondaatje and Jeanette Winterson as one who achieves…

Intellectual Grand Slam

Intellectual Grand Slam

John Clarke – the NZ comedian who “rates as a national institution” across the Tasman –  delights critics with his latest book, The Tournament. A blistering satire, The Tournament involves a fictitious tennis contest…

“The Prospero of NZ letters”

“The Prospero of NZ letters”

“Take a Las Vegas gambling magnate who believes in the usefulness of books, add a distinguished poet and a betting pool of natural talent. What do you get? A literary renaissance that has floored…

Sunny praise for Chidgey

Sunny praise for Chidgey

The Strength of the Sun by Lower Hutt writer Catherine Chidgey makes LA Times Best Books list for 2002. “An exquisitely written, curiously tantalizing book that looks something like a mystery story but is…

Not All Doom and Gloom

Not All Doom and Gloom

Wellington author Damien Wilkins counters small-town unease and drug-addled characters with a good dose of black comedy in Chemistry. New Statesman: ” a world of jealousies, scandals, and suffocating boredom … Although unrepentantly…

Wilkins’ Latest Bonds with Reviewer

Wilkins’ Latest Bonds with Reviewer

Guardian reviewer Phil Whitaker assesses Damien Wilkins’ novel, Chemistry, a chronicle of drug addiction and family trauma set in small-town NZ. “Wilkins is brilliant at character, and his resistance to movement for the family…

Booker Prize: end of an era?

Booker Prize: end of an era?

Observer critics liken this year’s Man Booker Prize win to that of NZ’s Keri Hulme on “that unforgettable night in the mid-80s.” Yann Martel’s The Life of Pi won thanks to “a virtuoso display…

Freudian felines

Freudian felines

NZ-based author/psychoanalyst Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson attempts to unravel the feline psyche in The Nine Emotional Lives of Cats: A Journey into the Feline Heart. The “witty, elusive and often enchanting” book challenges the place…

Moving biography as an art form

Moving biography as an art form

Nola Farman reviews Roger Horrocks’ Len Lye biography for Art Monthly Australia, calling it “the revelation of yet another brilliant and creative New Zealand moment.” The biography is Horrocks’ tribute to an artist he…

Reforging public perceptions

Reforging public perceptions

James Belich’s history of C20th NZ, Paradise Reforged, applauded in lengthy TLS article. Reviewer Jane Samson: “It is refreshing to have a personal vision of the country’s history from an astounding scholar who…

Steady Hand

Steady Hand

A thematic juggling act handled with skill: C.K Stead’s The Secret History of Modernism intersperses a tale of young love with one family’s experience of the Holocaust. Washington Post Reviewer Chris Lehman: “In the…

Critic goes ga ga for Noble

Critic goes ga ga for Noble

Reviewed: Justin Paton’s, Anne Noble: States of Grace, the accompaniment to Noble’s epoynmous recent exhibition. The book, “is the type of publication that makes people pat books in bookstores one finds oneself…

The Commonwealth cool club

The Commonwealth cool club

Emily Perkins muses on OE, clinging to Mummy Britannia’s apron strings, and what being in the Commonwealth meant for her as a young New Zealander: “Being a member of the Commonwealth always seemed, to…

Reforging Paradise

Reforging Paradise

“No one likes snapshots of one  sitting on Mother’s knee being shown at one’s 21st birthday, especially if the snaps were taken at age 19.” Novelist Emily Perkins reviews James Belich’s history of NZ:…

Critique of Pure Fay

Critique of Pure Fay

Fay Weldon’s autobiography (up to year 32) continues to entertain. The Guardian is seduced by the lure of biography: “her fiction suddenly seems a whole lot less peculiar … much of the work…

Making myths

Making myths

Lower-Hutt author Lloyd Jones gives the Aussies something heavier than Pavlova to think about: “Now and then someone will write a book in the smaller country that demands the bigger country sit up and…

From strength to strength

From strength to strength

Boston Globe finds the UV rays result in intense expression in Lower Hutt writer Catherine Chidgey’s latest novel, Strength of the Sun: “a meticulously constructed novel of true imagination.”

Where is New Zealand again?

Where is New Zealand again?

Doing the Billie’s Kiss PR, Elizabeth Knox pauses and reflects on the exotic settings for her books with a wry comment on her cultural identity: “I know I’m a New Zealand writer, but I’m…

The novel is dead, long live the novel

The novel is dead, long live the novel

Keri Hulme joins a list of postcolonial booker people ratttling the bones of the form: “The years the Booker Prize doesn’t go to an English novel the winning book tends to be an interesting…

Life and Loves …

Life and Loves …

NZEdged author Fay Weldon traverses a contradictory, but never dull life, in her autobiography Auto de Fay and finds her muse in the edge: “Always! Yes, always! I wanted to see more, it was…

Karl Popper’s NZEdged Legacy

Karl Popper’s NZEdged Legacy

Roger James in the The Guardian ponders the centenary of the birth of one of the C20th most original (and controversial) thinkers, philosopher Karl Popper. In an affirmation of edge theory Popper’s most influential…

Legacy of Letters

Legacy of Letters

LA Times special focuses on Katherine Mansfield’s Wellington. “Considered one of the 20th century’s finest short story writers” – and the only one to make Virginia Woolf jealous – Mansfield has remained…

Writer’s block

Writer’s block

“The literary traffic across the Tasman isn’t as brisk as it should be. Much good writing has to come from Auckland or Wellington to Australia by way of publication in London; and New Zealand…

“A work of almost perfect pitch”

“A work of almost perfect pitch”

CK Stead’s new novel The Secret History of Modernism reviewed inThe Age: “Stead is very clever and he’s comfortable on this ground, patrolling that sometimes misty territory between truth and invention, between history and…

Nabokov’s Butterflies

Nabokov’s Butterflies

The Brian Boyd (University of Auckland Professor and the world’s leading Nabokov scholar) edited Nabokov’s Butterflies – a collection of Vladimir Nabokov’s writings about butterflies, reviewed by Mark Ridley in The Times Literary Supplement.

“Swift and edgy”…

“Swift and edgy”…

Denver Post review of Margaret Mahy’s new book 24 Hours. “Her writing is clean and spare, as lucid in describing the ponderous weight of a backpack as in narrating an unnerving car…

A Russian soul

A Russian soul

Joanna Wood’s “beautifully written” biography of “short story master” Katherine Mansfield, Katerina: The Russian World of Katherine Mansfield, details the New Zealand-born writer’s lifelong passion for everything Russian: “She liked to wear Russian clothes,…

Shadow play

Shadow play

The allure of the artistic life, “the journey towards the light” is the central concern of Maurice Gee’s “thoughtful” new novel Ellie and the Shadow Man, reviewed by Nicola Walker.

Stephenson wins UK Book of the Year Award

Stephenson wins UK Book of the Year Award

Not the Nine O Clock News comedian turned psychotherapist turned biographer, NZ-Edged Pamela Stephenson wins the book of the year prize at the British Book Awards for her “frank and often harrowing” account of…

NYNZ – fringe thrills

NYNZ – fringe thrills

Chris Niles‘s new novel Hell’s Kitchen well-received in the Big Bad Apple: “Here’s a novel that’s crowded, rushed, excited, mixed-up, fun, dangerous and a little dirty. In other words, it perfectly…

From NZ with Love

From NZ with Love

“Spunky New Zealander” Mary Hobbs, editor of NZ Outside, and her mountain guide husband Charlie, use their own money to put together a book from their fellow countrymen to New Yorkers rocked by…

East to the Edge

East to the Edge

A book exploring the distinctly Japanese art of Kabuki has been “beautifully translated into English” by New Zealander Kirsten McIvor. Kabuki Today throws open the door to the mysterious world of the ancient theatrical…

Madcap Pamela bestselling biographer

Madcap Pamela bestselling biographer

New Zealand-born Pamela Stephenson, practicing psychotherapist and ex-comedian (part of the anarchic foursome who made the seminal and career launching comedy Not the Nine o’clock News – along with Rowan Atkinson, Mel Smith…

Weldon CBE

Weldon CBE

New Zealand-raised London-based writer Fay Weldon is now Fay Weldon, CBE. “One feels very flattered,” says Weldon, honoured for her charitable work as well as her writing.

More than Mansfield in Bloomsbury Group

More than Mansfield in Bloomsbury Group

Liz Calder, the NZedged head of Bloomsbury publishing (publishers of such literary luminaries as Michael Ondaatje, Will Self and John Irving), talks to The Guardian about the touted blockbuster battle, book and film drawn…

Author graced with further award

Author graced with further award

Author Patricia Grace is honoured with the 21 Kiriyama Pacific Rim book prize for her novel Dogside Stories. The award was established to promote cross-cultural understanding.

More Margaret Mahy Magic

More Margaret Mahy Magic

The multi-award-winning author, who was first published and praised in the United States over 30 years ago, has had her books translated into 15 languages. She has won literary prizes in the UK, Italy…

“For You to See Our World the Right Way Round”

“For You to See Our World the Right Way Round”

Allen Curnow, one of New Zealand’s great 20th-century writers and poets, has died in Auckland. Daily Telegraph: “regarded by many as New Zealand’s greatest poet” Curnow helped define a separate NZ identity in verse,…

The Fox Boy

The Fox Boy

The 19th-century studio portrait of a young Maori boy aged five or six, dignified but standing taut and uncommunicative, captured the imagination of New Zealand writer Peter Walker, The result was The Fox Boy…

Publishing Gem

Publishing Gem

Author Fay Weldon, who spent her childhood in New Zealand, has divided the literary world with her latest novel, The Bulgari Connection. It’s sponsored by the Italian jewellery company in what Weldon describes as…

Booker long-list Graced

Booker long-list Graced

Kiwi author Patrica Grace’s Dogside Story about an East Coast Maori township makes the long-list for the much-vaunted Booker Prize, shunting aside Salman to join such luminaries as Beryl Bainbridge, Peter Carey, Ian McEwan,…

Time-out: critics Knox-ed over

Time-out: critics Knox-ed over

Elizabeth Knox’s career and upcoming bovine noir tale gets talked up and produces another fine vintage according to the passing feet of Time: “Measured by the beat of an angel’s wing, his [Vintner’s Luck…

“Erotic, hyper-imaginative fiction”

“Erotic, hyper-imaginative fiction”

Elizabeth Knox’s Black Oxen is “lush, dark and puzzling,” as well as “startling and strangely satisfying”.

Underground S&M

Underground S&M

Q&A with Emily Perkins, including her worst fear – “it’s a tie between black-water rafting and those SM zip masks. So I guess being on a black-water raft with everyone wearing those masks would…

Perkins short cuts to praise

Perkins short cuts to praise

The Guardian Review draws comparisons between Perkins’s tale of small town angst and the American master of the form: “Perkins has wonderfully light touch; she is a master of dialogue and plain speech, a…

Brits take to New Girl

Brits take to New Girl

Emily Perkins’s The New Girl: “The atmosphere of summer, youth and restlessness in a social backwater is strong, as is the projection of Miranda’s intriguing personality and its effect on Julia, her brightest pupil….

The new girl

The new girl

Emily Perkins is “an adventurous writer” whose recent novel, The New Girl is an “ambitious work, rich with creative tension”, and a “huge leap” for a writer whose first two books met with critical…

The Fox Boy

The Fox Boy

Comment on Peter Walker’s “fascinating” biography of William Fox Omahuru, the Maori boy abducted to be raised by Sir William Fox, future New Zealand PM. A tale of colonialism told with “doggedness, intelligence and…

Emily’s choice

Emily’s choice

British-based New Zealand writer Emily Perkins sat on the all-powerful all-girl jury for the Orange Prize, Britain’s major literary award for women only. Also, Perkins comments on the double jury battle of the sexes controversy…

Scholar honoured

Scholar honoured

New Zealand novelist, poet, critic and scholar Professor Karl Stead awarded an honorary doctorate  by Bristol University.

Thought for Today

Thought for Today

“I do believe one ought to face facts. If you don’t they get behind you and may become terrors, nightmares, giants, horrors. As long as one faces them one is top dog.” –