Saturday, February 9, 2013

The AUP anthology of New Zealand literature #5

Links to previous entries in this long-running series are here.

This morning’s edition of the Australian carries a solid review of the book by Peter Pierce in which he quotes my deep thoughts on it and describes me as “the anonymous reviewer on the literary website Quote Unquote”. This proves yet again that you can’t always believe what you read in the papers: I am not anonymous and this is not a website. Still, nice to be noticed. Don’t we love it when, as Charles Brasch put it, “distance looks our way”. Even if it’s only Australia.

The review outlines the criticism the book has received here for the exclusions of Frame, O’Sullivan, Duff and the rest, but is generally positive. Pierce is professor of Australian literature at James Cook University, Townsville and knows New Zealand literature, quoting well from the selections to bring out themes of interest to Australian readers. He quite rightly praises the design and production values, and concludes hopefully:
Attentive readers of this book will also discover the personal, political and literary affiliations among its writers. They will happen on authors of originality, rough and polished distinction, whose presence should ensure that for many reading households in Australia, this Anthology of New Zealand Literature is a vital and much used possession.
Monitor: Bill Manhire

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