Thursday, February 23, 2017

Waikato Times letter of the week #75

From the edition of Thursday 23 February. As always, spelling, punctuation, grammar and logic are exactly as printed in the Waikato Times.
Animal instincts
Racism, arrogance, bigots, religious and political intolerance. Ethnic hatred and the differences that lead to all these human reactions and behaviours, are usually centred on belief systems where intolerance of differences becomes of group importance that will usually lead on to anti actions and behaviours. We humans tend to hide much of our behaviour behind the notions espoused in various religions, Pseudo Darwinism and the survival of the fittest, as excuses and explanations. Walking in the village today I noticed once again, Mothers attending to wee babies. No intelligible words were spoken, but the behaviour of these mothers was one absolute reinforcement that they would kill to protect their babies and all other children belonging in their I think protection. And we live by the ripping fang and the tearing claw. We are after all just animals.
Barry Ashby 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

What I’m reading #141

Not a lot to be honest, can’t read much when I’m editing, but this review in the Economist of Kapka Kassabova’s new book stood out like dogs’ thingummies. It says:
Kapka Kassabova’s poignant, erudite and witty third book, “Border”, brings hidden history vividly to light.
I am sure it does. I am sure it is poignant, witty and erudite. Kapka is all of the above. But it is not her third book.

I edited two novels by her, Reconnaissance (Penguin, 1999) and Love in the Land of Midas (Penguin, 2000). There had already been a terrific first book of poems, All Roads Lead to the Sea (AUP, 1997) which I tried to get shortlisted for the Montana Book Awards but my bone-headed co-judge (name available on application) wasn’t having it, and its successor Dismemberment (AUP, 1998). 

That’s four books so far, isn’t it? Kapka’s website is, how shall we say, economical but does list the tango book Twelve Minutes of Love, (Portobello, 2011), the third novel Villa Pacifica (Penguin, 2010) – which I have never seen and had no idea existed – and the memoir Street Without a Name (Portobello, 2008). There are also the Bloodaxe collections Someone Else’s Life (2003) and Geography for the Lost (2007). 

Seems to me that Border is her 10th book. But hey, I only got up to Stage III maths.