Books

Extensive fictionalreworking of Fitzgerald era

Extensive fictionalreworking of  Fitzgerald era

Sara and Gerald Murphy were the wealthy intimates of Picasso, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Don Passos and the rest of the avant-garde set in 1920s south of France, and here they lived hedonistically, languishing over cocktails on the coast by day and holding extravagant costume parties by night.

Early Maori-missionary entanglements explored and revised

Early Maori-missionary entanglements explored and revised

Last year marked the 200th anniversary of the first preaching of the Christian gospel in the Bay of Islands.

'Death and forgiveness' big on former, short on latter

'Death and forgiveness' big on former, short on latter

Death and Forgiveness tells the story of Anna, who, while on a trip to say farewell to her dying mother in the Czech Republic, learns of the suicide of her ex-husband, Jan, back in Dunedin.

Dealing with war and its aftermath

Dealing with war and its aftermath

Louis de Bernieres is the English author of several books, including Red Dog, and Captain Corelli's Mandolin, both made into movies.

The Middle East (partly) demystified

The Middle East (partly) demystified

Several things are striking about Lamb's new 600-page book: her ability to survive in various war zones; her seemingly easy access to people who are of importance in various Middle Eastern countries; her detailed, but always interesting, analysis of the constant flux of movements between various groups (Taliban and the like, warlords, British and American troops, politicians); and her compassion for the people of Afghanistan, who have suffered from endless interference by other nations and constant internal struggles for power among warlords.

Human love and loyalty juxtaposed with animal survival and savvy

Human love and loyalty juxtaposed with animal survival and savvy

Sarah Hall is flattering and evocative about her Cumbrian birthplace, sharing her knowledge of the northern English landscape, weather, people and politics.

Wry look from consummate insider

Wry look from consummate insider

There would scarcely be an individual better suited to creating Muse than Jonathan Galassi, president and publisher of a main player in the publishing world: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

O'Sullivan's vision, versatility illuminated

O'Sullivan's vision, versatility illuminated

This ambitious literary study undertakes to discuss all of the work of New Zealand's most prolific and versatile man of letters.

Fairly mild version of whodunnit genre but still worth reading

Fairly mild version of whodunnit genre but still worth reading

I read Wellington writer Adrienne Jansen's The Score a year or so ago, and enjoyed its quirky collection of characters, and its energy.