Wednesday, May 4, 2016

What I'm reading #134


Whenever I buy a book on New Zealand literature I check to see that it has an index, because otherwise it is useless as a work of reference. This is the mark of a good book.

Next, I check to see that I am in the index. This is the mark of a very good book. Bill Manhire’s Doubtful Sounds and Rachel Barrowman’s Maurice Gee: Life and Work score highly. How, I wondered, would Judith Dell Panny’s Let the Writer Stand: the work of Vincent O’Sullivan fare?

Not too badly, I am happy to report.

It has an index. Good.

I am in it. Very good. 

I turn to page 7 and OMG, Chapter One begins with a quote from me nominating Vincent to become Poet Laureate in 2014:
What astonishes is the sustained vigour, wit, technical facility, emotional range and, increasingly warmth. … We have cerebral poets, amusing poets, inventive poets, political poets, sensitive poets – but no one else who does it all.
 So the first words in the book are mine. Happy to waive royalties.

The other stuff I am reading is the winners of the Ockham Book Awards, the artist formerly known as the Montana Book Awards and more recently the NZ Post Book Awards. I know who the winners are. They don’t. 

This is in preparation for the highlight of this year’s Auckland Writers Festival, me interviewing the four winners on-stage for an hour next week, on Friday the 13th. Given the date, what could possibly go wrong?

1 comment:

Rob Hosking said...

Too many books don't have an index. Two I've cursed over recently - not about NZ Lit, admittedly: Tony Molloy's 'thirty Pieces of Silver' and Colin James' 'New Territory'.