Scoop Review of Books

Archive for July, 2013

There’s no easy way

Poem of the Week: There is no easy way by Kate Camp

Poet Kate Camp is next Monday’s (22 July) guest in the Writers at Te Papa series of lunch-time talks. The following poem is from her recently released Snow White Coffin which was written during her spell as the 2011 Creative NZ Berlin resident.

There is no easy way

This is the way you will travel through the world
on feet, on arrangements of bones and body parts.

You will be standing on top of your shoes.
You will be walking inside the lining of your coat
and your fingers will poke through the frayed pocket lining.

Around the islands of your back teeth, rich with metals,
will be the liquids that you drink, disappearing down your throat.

There will be air inside you, an egg of it
inside your mouth, and a clam of it.

When you lie in the dark you will be nothing but a clock
spending your limited supply of minutes on minutes.
You will always be inside things, be they rooms, buildings,
or atmospheres, because there is no outside.

And I will tell you something, you will have animals inside you.
Two dark, dark bears, sleeping in a reek of their own urine.
Swans caught with their wings open like fountains.
And there will be raccoons, black eyes full of night time.
They feed on rubbish when they can’t find a home in the woods.


Up and About in Paris and London

Lonely Planet London and Paris Special Collector’s Editions

Reviewed by Judith Nathan
To celebrate its 40th anniversary Lonely Planet has issued collectors’ editions of its London, Paris and New York City Guides. Each consists of a specially designed limited edition cover for its latest guide. While this may appeal to an armchair traveller whose OE or mid-life travels relied on the Lonely Planet, what really matters is what’s between the covers.
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Carl Shuker at Te Papa

‘Brash and fearless’, is how the New York Times described Carl Shuker‘s first novel, The Method Actors, which won him the 2006 Prize in Modern Letters. His latest novel, Anti Lebanon, has just been published in the US, where Publishers Weekly reviewed it as ‘a haunting and riveting account of war, loss, and exile’. Shuker is this year’s Creative New Zealand/Victoria University Writing Fellow.

Chair: Damien Wilkins
DATE: Monday 15 July
TIME: 12.15-1.15pm

VENUE: The Marae, Level 4, Te Papa, Wellington
(please note that no food may be taken onto the Te Papa Marae).

The Writers on Mondays series is presented with the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, and additional support from Circa Theatre and the Melbourne Writers Festival.
Admission is free and all welcome.

The Power of Paint

The Opening: twelve love stories about art by Stephanie Radok
Wakefield Press 2012

Reviewed by Ruth Brassingtonthe opening
If you’re expecting love stories about two people whose eyes meet across an art gallery, you won’t find them here. It’s Rodok’s own love affairs with specific art works that she details, analyses and explores – and shares meticulously and lovingly, a topic-chapter for each calendar month relating her past and her present to the artwork she describes. I looked up some of the paintings she loves, to see why she loved them, and to see which ones I loved too – “oh YES,” I cried.
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A journey on the pro-choice highway

Fighting to Choose: The Abortion Rights Struggle in New Zealand
By Alison McCulloch
Victoria University Press

Reviewed by Megan Whelanfightingtochoose__73920.1355261486.1280.1280
As controversy raged online last week, over the US senator Wendy Davis’ filibuster of anti-abortion legislation, there were two kinds of comments from New Zealanders. The first: “aren’t we lucky that reproductive rights are more certain here”, was followed swiftly by those saying “oh, really?” The former could perhaps benefit from reading this book.
In the past 30 years, abortion has slowly become a political pariah – the issue to be avoided at all costs. MP Steve Chadwick’s 2010 private member’s bill died a swift and quiet death, while anti-abortion groups continue to attempt to restrict access to abortion services through the courts. And liberal women are told to shut up about abortion, because to speak too loudly about it would make candidates and parties unelectable. And all the while, women are stuck with a law that as Alison McCulloch writes, satisfies no one. It’s too close to abortion on demand for the anti-groups, and there are too many hurdles for the pro-choicers.
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