books and authors

books and authors on Elsewhere by Graham Reid - Browse our selection of content tagged 'books and authors'.

PETER ACKROYD INTERVIEWED ABOUT HIS DEFINITIVE CHARLES DICKENS BIOGRAPHY 1991

PETER ACKROYD INTERVIEWED ABOUT HIS DEFINITIVE CHARLES DICKENS BIOGRAPHY 1991

It was an afternoon in June 1846 when Charles Dickens finally broke the writing block which had been troubling him. It had been two years since his previous novel, but these last weeks present walking in the hills of Switzerland above Lausanne had allowed him to sketch out the framework of a book. In his study overlooking the lake, Dickens...

FROM HELL BY ALAN MOORE AND EDDIE CAMPBELL (book review) 2002

FROM HELL BY ALAN MOORE AND EDDIE CAMPBELL (book review) 2002

That there's yet another version of Jack the Ripper in cinemas - From Hell starring Johnny Depp, and based on this graphic novel - is hardly surprising. The mysterious Jack has fascinated generations of film-makers for three reasons: location, location, location.Think London in the late 19th century: narrow cobbled streets barely illuminated at...

COMIX ARTIST ART SPIEGELMAN INTERVIEWED 1991: The Maus that Rawed

COMIX ARTIST ART SPIEGELMAN INTERVIEWED 1991: The Maus that Rawed

Art Spiegelman – like many authors one suspects – can’t resist looking for his book in stores. But the categories bookshops have are seldom very useful he says, and his book Maus, a 160 page paperback-sized comic, defies convenient pigeonholing. Store owners think it is “humour” because it’s a comic...

RHONA HASZARD: Portrait of the artist as a young woman (2004)

RHONA HASZARD: Portrait of the artist as a young woman (2004)

Popular culture loves nothing so much as the early death of an obvious talent. We are left with questions and the speculation on just what direction the gift might have moved in had the artist lived. Some of that discussion will doubtless be aired with the Auckland exhibition of works by Thames-born painter Rhona Haszard, who fell to her...

LINTON KWESI JOHNSON INTERVIEWED 2OO4: The poet speaks of tings and times a-changin'

LINTON KWESI JOHNSON INTERVIEWED 2OO4: The poet speaks of tings and times a-changin'

They were the happiest days of my life, the poet recalls as he sits in winter-blown London."I was born in a little town called Chapelton in rural Jamaica," he says with what could pass for wistfulness. "My parents were peasant farmers and my mother went to live in Kingston and eventually came here. During that time I stayed...

PRINCES AMONGST MEN: JOURNEYS WITH GYPSY MUSICIANS by GARTH CARTWRIGHT

PRINCES AMONGST MEN: JOURNEYS WITH GYPSY MUSICIANS by GARTH CARTWRIGHT

London-based author Cartwright made his name in New Zealand in the late 80s/early 90s as an opinionated and often contentious art and music critic, and an award-winning journalist. His pugnacious approach to the art establishment ensured a bad boy image, but Cartwright backed it up with acute and provocative writing, although his star was...

1812: NAPOLEON'S FATAL MARCH ON MOSCOW by ADAM ZAMOYSKI (2006) reviewed

1812: NAPOLEON'S FATAL MARCH ON MOSCOW by ADAM ZAMOYSKI (2006) reviewed

Few people -- even American Republicans these days -- still believe the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq had much to do with containing terrorism, and various truths about the impetus for these events contend for attention. Doubtless, as with most enormous affairs in world history, time and access to more information from all sides will...

ANCIENT MARINER, BY KEN McGOOGAN REVIEWED (2005): Ice cold and Coleridge

ANCIENT MARINER, BY KEN McGOOGAN REVIEWED (2005): Ice cold and Coleridge

In the middle of the 18th century only 20 per cent of ordinary sailors in the Royal Navy were volunteers, the rest had been press-ganged into service. The reasons why so few willingly joined were simple: the money was lousy, the conditions woeful - on a typical frigate there would be two or three floggings a week. A Navy career also tested...

THE BOOK OF THE FILM OF THE MAN (2006): From silver screen to serious stuff

THE BOOK OF THE FILM OF THE MAN (2006): From silver screen to serious stuff

You know how it is, you see Charlton Heston parting the Red Sea and you think, “Man, I should read that book. It looks kinda neat.” Or you watch Michael Jackson: The E! Hollywood True Story and decide you’d love to read a biography of that troubled and troublesome soul. Right now there is a glut of bio-flicks in cinemas...

AUTHOR RICHARD PRICE ON CLOCKERS: The book, the movie and the money-go-round

AUTHOR RICHARD PRICE ON CLOCKERS: The book, the movie and the money-go-round

Richard Price barely has to open his mouth and you know where he’s from. The voice is direct with a “yeah, well” shoulder shrug delivery and nothin’s like, too exact, you know? Words get bitten off, sentences sprinkled with streetwise epithets and answers come before the question is finished. Fast talk because it...

THE GREAT WALL by JULIA LOVELL: Built it and they'll believe it

THE GREAT WALL by JULIA LOVELL: Built it and they'll believe it

When Richard Nixon stood on a segment of China’s famous wall in 1972 he announced, “This is a great wall and it had to be built by great people” the anti-Communist American president was playing the diplomacy game on his break-through mission. But he was wrong on a number of counts. He had fallen for the widespread notion...

SPOKEN HERE by MARK ABLEY: It's like, you know, I mean . . .

SPOKEN HERE by MARK ABLEY: It's like, you know, I mean . . .

When Captain James Cook ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef he spotted an unusual animal and was told by the aboriginal people it was called “kangaroo”. When he sailed home he took a stuffed specimen and the word -- the first aboriginal word to be adopted by the English language -- back to London. Two decades later colonists at...

IN SEARCH OF SHAKESPEARE (DVD): He doth bestride the world . . .

IN SEARCH OF SHAKESPEARE (DVD): He doth bestride the world . . .

My favourite story is the one about the guy whose wife tells him to murder his boss and grab the top job. He does, but then he’s got to kill a few others to keep it. Along the way, as the body count rises, his wife goes crazy with guilt and commits suicide. But instead of giving it all away at this point the guy decides “ah what the...

SEDITION AND ALCHEMY: A BIOGRAPHY OF JOHN CALE BY TIM MITCHELL (2005): Opportunity knocked

SEDITION AND ALCHEMY: A BIOGRAPHY OF JOHN CALE BY TIM MITCHELL (2005): Opportunity knocked

John Cale, now 66, was an unlikely candidate for a career in heretical, innovative rock'n'roll. Born in a village in South Wales, he showed prodigy-like musical talent. At 13 he was the viola player in the National Youth Orchestra of Wales, having started on piano and been a church organist. At grammar school he studied Berg, Schoenberg and...

SOPHIA SCARLET AND OTHER PACIFIC WRITINGS BY ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON reviewed (2008)

SOPHIA SCARLET AND OTHER PACIFIC WRITINGS BY ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON reviewed (2008)

When Robert Louis Stevenson died at 44 in his Samoan home, half a world away from his birthplace of Edinburgh, he left a remarkably diverse body of work. In fewer than two decades he turned out popular romantic novels (among them Kidnapped and Treasure Island), the psycho-drama of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, numerous poems,...

NIXONLAND: THE RISE OF A PRESIDENT AND THE FRACTURING OF AMERICA by RICK PERLSTEIN reviewed (2008)

NIXONLAND: THE RISE OF A PRESIDENT AND THE FRACTURING OF AMERICA by RICK PERLSTEIN reviewed (2008)

If there is a sense of deja-vu about the current political landscape in the United States it is perhaps less Barack Obama being hailed as the inheritor of the mantle bequeathed by those golden martyrs John F Kennedy and Martin Luther King than it is in the presidency itself. This Bush (“Omega Bush” as some critics call him, as...

BETWEEN THE LIVES: PARTNERS IN ART edited by DEBORAH SHEPARD REVIEWED (2005): Lives in the margins

BETWEEN THE LIVES: PARTNERS IN ART edited by DEBORAH SHEPARD REVIEWED (2005): Lives in the margins

An intimate relationship between creative people may be as volatile and destructive as it can be productive and rewarding. And almost inevitably one partner, for reasons of success or force of personality, can dominate at the expense of the other. This illustrated collection of nine essays (which eschew the obscurantism of much academic...

THE KNOW-IT-ALL by AJ JACOBS: Smartening up

THE KNOW-IT-ALL by AJ JACOBS: Smartening up

Some men cross deserts of ice and others sail solo around the world, but New York journalist Jacob’s endurance test was more demanding. Because he felt he had been smarter at university than he was working as an editor at Esquire (where he knew details of Britney's life) he decided he needed to arrest his long, slow slide into increasing...

WILD CARDS by JOHN DUNMORE, REVIEWED: Mad, bad and dangerous

WILD CARDS by JOHN DUNMORE, REVIEWED: Mad, bad and dangerous

Subtitled “eccentric characters from New Zealand’s past” this collection of short biographical articles by Dunmore -- Professor Emeritus of French at Massey, Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2001 -- is considerably more insightful than it looks. To his more than two dozen, diverse subjects -- from ambitious or...

MAN OVERBOARD by TIM BINDING: Underwater . . . and undercover?

MAN OVERBOARD by TIM BINDING: Underwater . . . and undercover?

Novels based on historical characters are always fraught: one weakness in important detail or tone of the period and the whole structure collapses. Binding’s novel therefore treads in dangerous waters: it is based on the 1956 disappearance of Commander Lionel Crabb, a British war hero and frogman who was last seen near Portsmouth where a...

SELINA TUSITALA MARSH: Guys Like Gauguin

SELINA TUSITALA MARSH: Guys Like Gauguin

Auckland-based Pasifika poet Marsh has appeared before at Elsewhere and she's always welcome. Her poems are insightful, sometimes deliberately lacking in subtlety (because she can certainly do subtle) and always have something to say. I believe -- I hope -- there is an album coming of her readings. Because here (as with Fast Talking PI...

MARK KURLANSKY INTERVIEWED (2005): The author and his wide, wide world

MARK KURLANSKY INTERVIEWED (2005): The author and his wide, wide world

Mark Kurlansky is the writer many others want to be: his career in journalism took him to Europe, China, the Caribbean and Middle East, and he lived for a time in Mexico City. His award-winning books are enormously popular despite addressing unusual subjects, notably the complex histories of cod, salt, and the Basques. He has also written an...

OLIVER JAMES INTERVIEWED (2004): If You're Happy and You Know It . . .

OLIVER JAMES INTERVIEWED (2004): If You're Happy and You Know It . . .

Five floors up in a swanky Auckland hotel room someone else is paying for, Oliver James should be happy enough, but he's concerned. He is grappling with the issue of happiness. Or more specifically the lack of it. James is asking a knotty question: why is there more unhappiness among the middle-classes of the developed countries than there...

NAOMI KLEIN INTERVIEWED 2001: Globalisation activism: revolt into style

NAOMI KLEIN INTERVIEWED 2001: Globalisation activism: revolt into style

Canadian author Naomi Klein's hotel window takes in an expanse of Auckland's glistening Waitemata Harbour, a blanket of cloudless sky and the graceful arc of motorways and harbour bridge between. "And two great logos," she says with a laugh, pointing to a couple of overly familiar icons.For someone demonised and derided by...

THE MONTY PYTHON AUTOBIOGRAPHY by THE PYTHONS(2003)

THE MONTY PYTHON AUTOBIOGRAPHY by THE PYTHONS(2003)

The shadow of the Beatles is cast long over Monty Python's Flying Circus. The late George Harrison always said he felt something of the band's spirit passed to Monty Python, which appeared on television as the Beatles were breaking up, and Paul McCartney would stop recording to watch the show. Harrison later underwrote the Pythons' Life of...

ALAIN DE BOTTON ESSAY (2006): The Sin of Being a Populariser

ALAIN DE BOTTON ESSAY (2006): The Sin of Being a Populariser

As someone with an amateur’s enthusiasm for architecture and design, I was disappointed to miss the recent talk by the English essayist Alain de Botton, author of the popular book The Architecture of Happiness. I call him an essayist because that is what he is: as someone who travels often and writes about it I had previously...

ANTONY BEEVOR INTERVIEWED (2003): The Anatomy of War; Berlin 1945, Baghdad 2003

ANTONY BEEVOR INTERVIEWED (2003): The Anatomy of War; Berlin 1945, Baghdad 2003

In the final weeks of the siege, battle-weary troops defending the capital were forced back through the inner suburbs by tanks and artillery. They fought out of fear of capture, and some from loyalty to a failed ideology. They were outnumbered and outgunned.By day their city had been bombed into submission by American planes taking advantage of...

HILLARY AND BILL CLINTON'S AUTOBIOGRAPHIES CONSIDERED (2003, 2004): Sax, lies and soundbites

HILLARY AND BILL CLINTON'S AUTOBIOGRAPHIES CONSIDERED (2003, 2004): Sax, lies and soundbites

Last week, late-night US television host Jay Leno quipped about a matter diverting American attention - the long-awaited US$8 million ($13.85 million) memoirs of Hillary Rodham Clinton. "Hillary Clinton's book hits the stores this Monday," he said. "Oh boy, it took her a long time to write it. But in her defence, every time she...

SPORT 37 edited by FERGUS BARROWMAN

SPORT 37 edited by FERGUS BARROWMAN

Often considered a barometer of contemporary New Zealand writing, the long-running Sport can in truth no more be a measure of our literary world than a Christmas compilation CD is a clue to the state of local music. Disparate voices, topics, concerns and styles are all evident in Sport’s clean and readable layout -- but that is the...

THE BIG OYSTER by MARK KURLANSKY

THE BIG OYSTER by MARK KURLANSKY

One of the conspicuous growth areas in non-fiction has been in the genre of what we might call single-issue histories where a writer takes a seemingly mundane or commonplace subject -- be it tulips in Amsterdam, the humble potato or ubiquitous chocolate -- and expand a history around it. The acknowledged master of this genre, and the most...

YOU BETTER NOT CRY by AUGUSTEN BURROUGHS: Christmas spirits

YOU BETTER NOT CRY by AUGUSTEN BURROUGHS: Christmas spirits

Ah Christmas: ‘Tis the season to be . . . despondent and predictable? It is the time to bemoan the commercialisation of a Christian festival, to listen as miserable souls announce “I hate Christmas” to all who will listen, and recall those ghosts of Christmas past when the festive season turned into family turmoil or personal...

GRIFFITH REVIEW: FOOD CHAIN edited by JULIANNE SCHULTZ

GRIFFITH REVIEW: FOOD CHAIN edited by JULIANNE SCHULTZ

At regular lunches with a group of friends last year our conversation frequently turned to food, and not what was on our plates. We would discuss what might be called the politics of food: how many miles particular foodstuffs clocked up to get into our supermarkets and restaurants; how certain types of fishing were stripping our oceans; and...

HICKSVILLE, a graphic novel by DYLAN HORROCKS

HICKSVILLE, a graphic novel by DYLAN HORROCKS

In interviews Dylan Horrocks, the 43-year old New Zealand writer and artist of the graphic novel Hicksville, is candid enough to note that more people in his home country know about his book than have actually read it. That's because it was serialised in his own magazine Pickle over the years from '92 but when the final episode was due he was...

THE WORLD OF TINTIN. The timeless boy

THE WORLD OF TINTIN. The timeless boy

Age has not wearied him -- and nor can it. The little adventurer with a distinctive flick to his forelock, oddly unfashionable plus-fours and rarely a change of clothes, is frozen in time. As he globetrots from the old Orient to the Land of the Pharaohs - and even the Moon - he looks as he ever did. Yet in 2009 he turned 80. However he is...

LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTI INTERVIEWED (2000): The angry old man

LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTI INTERVIEWED (2000): The angry old man

Lawrence Ferlinghetti sounds in feisty spirit. Indeed, my call to his famous City Lights bookshop in San Francisco finds the 81-year-old deeply irritated, if not to say downright angry.It's all because of the recently released album of him reading selections from his poem, A Coney Island of the Mind, his 42-year-old poetic meditation which has...

Tags related to books and authors