Saturday, June 1, 2013

The best new New Zealand fiction


 The best of the best: three new releases from three accomplished New Zealand novelists, and these three novels make excellent companions for each other on my NZ Lit book shelf. All are must-reads in my opinion.

Bangs (Penguin NZ, May 2013) by Stevan Eldred-Grigg reviewed for the NZ Herald by Stephanie Johnson. Stevan Eldred-Grigg spoke to Lynn Freeman of Radio New Zealand's Arts on Sunday. Reviewed for the NZ Listener by John McCrystal (behind a paywall).
What a treat - another instalment in the important and much loved Oracles and Miracles social history/saga.
It's dark, and you are left wanting more.
In the Memorial Room by Janet Frame (Text Publishing, May 2013) reviewed for the NZ Herald by Paula Green.
Also reviewed for The Australian by Angela Meyer of LiteraryMinded blog, and Ngaire Atmore for BookieMonster.
A hilarious black comedy with hidden depths, posthumously published because it suited Janet Frame not to reveal all her cards at once. I think it's brilliant. I'm probably biased since I co-edited it, but mine seems to be the majority view.
The Writing Class (Random House NZ, May 2013) by Stephanie Johnson reviewed for the NZ Herald by Nicky Pellegrino, featured in the NZ Woman's Weekly book club, and reviewed for Radio NZ National by David Hill.
Very sharply observed and cleverly structured; a novel masquerading as a writing manual (or vice versa) and quite satisfying in both respects.

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