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Posts Tagged ‘NZ Short Stories’

LIT. Stories from Home. Edited by Elizabeth Kirkby-McLeod. Pub. Onetree House, 2021.

June 26, 2021 Comments off

I was very happy to read this anthology of 15 short stories by New Zealand writers because it reacquainted me with Katherine Mansfield’s The Dolls House which I had read nearly 60 years ago in my 4th Form English class taught by Gordon Ogilvie who was to become a writer in his own right. He described the story as the most important piece of literature written by a new Zealander and at the time that meant nothing to me but now it does. I remember sympathising with the Kelvey sisters because I was from a family of eight and we were poor like them.

This story is important to the theme of this anthology which explores society in New Zealand from the closed class ridden structure of The Dolls House through the various stages in our development till todays society which is varied, ethnically diverse and severely challenged.

The anthology begins with Baby Doll by Gina Cole narrated by a 10 year old Uyghur working in a slave factory sewing garments and stressing because she will be docked pay for not meeting targets and who has subsequently fled China and now resides in New Zealand but looking back.

In between times we have gems from Witi Ihimaera, Owen Marshall, David Hill, Frank Sargeson and another favourite Elsie Locke. There are other gems each adding another development of New Zealand’s society to where it is today.

The last story in the anthology is Chinese New Zealander Ting. J. Yiu titled Gutting which will stun you as it did me. It features a middle aged Chinese woman called Kim who lives as a hunter in the bush of West Coast new Zealand and actually hunts, kills and guts a deer during the story. This is surprising in itself but she arrives at doing this after she has discovered a pod of pilot whales who have beached themselves on a remote West Coast beach. The meaning of all this is one for you to decide for yourself but are we all like beached whales looking for our own place in this new society we call New Zealand /Aotearoa.

If you miss this you will kick yourself. One of the best short story anthologies I have read.

Time Machine & Other stories by Melinda Szymanik

August 30, 2019 Comments off

time machineTime Machine & Other stories by Melinda Szymanik. Pub. The Cuba Press, 2019.

Eighteen short stories about everything and a novella about a girl with an eye patch who gets kidnapped while dressed up as a pirate complete this very readable book for intermediate and junior high school students.

The first story about downhill racing in a home made cart with your sister who is on the brake will thrill you to bits. Then there is a story of a boy whose mother has eyes in the back of her head and she knows everything you are going to do. Is she an alien?.

Top it off with three stories about time machines and a boy who gets into a cage with a crocodile and others and you have a neat collection of stories to read.

You don’t have to read them all, although you be mad not to, and you can pick it up read for ten minutes and put it down. Give it a crack there is lots of imagination here.

The Tattooed Sisters and other stories by Bill Nagelkerke

November 28, 2016 Comments off

tattooedThe Tattooed Sisters and other stories by Bill Nagelkerke. Pub Self. Available Amazon.com  2016.

Kira and Miranda have been friends since pre-school but just as they reach their teen years  Kira’s parents announce they are moving away. The girls are stunned . What can they do to cement their friendship forever? A tattoo each, the same one but what will it be and where will they put it?

Read this excellent book of short stories by an author who has shown mastery of this genre. Every writer will tell you to write what you know about and Bill Nagelkerke has tapped into the rich vein of his childhood plus observations of life around him as an adult.

The stories are all tightly written and include subjects like bullying and the value and power of reading. This book of 20 short stories and poems will appeal to a wide range of readers from primary intermediate age to high school and young adult.

I recognised many similar aspects from my own childhood but couldn’t write them as well as Bill.

Read me another one, please!; NZ stories & poems for Children.

November 2, 2012 Comments off

Read Me Another One, Please! NZ Stories & Poems foe children selected by Belynda Smith & Dorothy Dudek Vinicombe. Pub. Whitcoulls, 2012.

If you want to start bedtime reading to your children or you want to bring the best NZ children’s writing to your classroom, then do not go past this new book.

It contains a collection of stories and poems from some of this county’s best known and critically acclaimed writers like Margaret Mahy, Joy Cowley, Dorothy Butler, Tessa Duder and Gavin Bishop, plus some movers and shakers in todays literary world Brian Falkner, Tania Roxborogh, Deborah Burnside and Susan Brocker.

Up and coming writers like Bill Nagelkerke, Glenda Kane and Fifi Colston plus others get in as well plus some old hands Michael King, Roger Hall and John Parker

For me the best poem was John Parker’s Red Diggers Yellow Diggers for it’s high boy appeal and of course four cat poems from Joy Crowley. Gavin Bishop’s Chicken Licken gets an airing but the sky still falls on Chicken Lickens head.

Brian Falkner introduces an excellent story about Robot Boy and a wasp nest and Tania Roxborogh gets you to take your toes out of the water with a story about eels.

To top this book off Michael King writes a moving story about a Tangi and Roger Hall says No Cats for me.

An enjoyable montage of short stories, something for everybody and certainly a good present with the holiday period upon us.