Sphinx by Cat Woodward $20
Each poem in this excellent collection pits its voice both against silence and against the deluge of other voices suspended above it, waiting for an opportunity to smother it. Every word is effective and surprising, the whole geared so that the humour and the blades rotate in opposite directions. A form-bursting collection from a poet recently moved to Nelson from the UK.
>> Find out about the 5-week poetry course Cat will be teaching at VOLUME in April.
New Zealand's answer to Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls! Inspiring stories and wonderful illustrations. Includes Whina Cooper, Janet Frame, Beatrice Tinsley, Frances Hodgkins, Georgina Beyer, Huria Matenga, Jane Campion, Joan Wiffen, Karen Walker, Kate Edger, Katherine Mansfield, Mai Chen, Merata Mita, Mojo Mathers, Patricia Grace, Suzie Moncrieff, Farah Palmer, Selina Tusitala Marsh, Lucy Lawless, Kate Sheppard, Nancy Wake, Sophie Pascoe, Margaret Mahy, Lydia Ko, Merata Mita, Lorde, Rita Angus and Te Puea Herangi. Illustrations by Sarah Laing, Sarah Wilkins, Fifi Coulston, Ali Teo, Helen Taylor, Phoebe Morris, Sophie Watkins, Rebecca ter Borg and Vasanti Unka.
The Cemetery in Barnes by Gabriel Josipovici $28
How do lives and the narratives that impart these lives converge and overlay each other, and how is a translator able to correlate narratives not only across languages but across time? Beautifully constructed and written, a triple narrative both pulled towards and avoiding the darkness at its centre.
"One of the very best writers now at work in the English language, and a man whose writing, both in fiction and in critical studies, displays a unity of sensibility and intelligence and deep feeling difficult to overvalue at any time." - Guardian
>> Visit the cemetery.
The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman $37
Born in Rome during his artist father's sojourn there, Pinch grows up desperate to emulate him, both artistically and otherwise. Moving to London to teach Italian, Pinch begins to write a biography of his father, but when his father dies, he sees the opportunity to receive more from him than the father, when alive, was prepared to give. Subtle and perceptive.
Mazarine by Charlotte Grimshaw $38
When her daughter vanishes during a heatwave in Europe, writer Frances Sinclair embarks on a hunt that takes her across continents and into her own past. What clues can Frances find in her own history, and who is the mysterious Mazarine?
>> What are the possibilities of fiction in a post-truth world?
Census by Jesse Ball $37
A widower cares for his adult son, who has Down Syndrome. When he learns that he hasn't long to live the man takes a job as a census taker for a mysterious government agency and takes to the road with his son.
"Census is a vital testament to selfless love; a psalm to commonplace miracles; and a mysterious evolving metaphor. So kind, it aches." - David Mitchell
"Census is Ball's most personal and best to date. Think The Road by Cormac McCarthy with Ball’s signature surreal flourishes." - New York Times
"A poet by trade, Ball understands the economy of language better than most fiction writers today." - Huffington Post
"A devastatingly powerful call for understanding and compassion." - Publishers Weekly
The Friendly Ones by Philip Hensher $40
Family life in Sheffield meets the brutal history of Bangladesh in this thoughtful, perceptive and uncompromising novel.
"Hensher is one of our most gifted novelists and this is certainly his best novel yet." - Guardian
The World's Din: Listening to records, radio and films in New Zealand, 1880-1940 by Peter Hoar $45
An excellent history of social and private audiophilia and the societal changes concomitant with developments in recording technologies.
A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things: A guide to capitalism, nature and the future of the planet by Raj Patel and Jason W. Moore $40
Nature, Money, Work, Care, Food, Energy and Lives are the seven things that have made our world and will continue to shape its future. By making these things cheap, modern commerce has controlled, transformed, and devastated the Earth.
Granta 142: Animalia $28
We love and care for animals as pets, we weave them into our myths and fables, and then we breed them under conditions of terrible cruelty just so we can eat them cheaply. As new developments in research into animal cognition force us to concede fewer characteristics separating us from our neighbouring species, this issue of Granta asks writers, poets and photographers to consider the complex ways we interact with the animal kingdom. Includes contributions from Han Kang, Nell Zink and Yoko Tawada.
The Old Man and the Sand Eel by Will Millard $40
“My whole life has been one surrounded by water and my happiness can be accurately measured by proximity to it.” So begins Will Millard’s absorbing memoir about a lifetime’s obsession with fishing, in which he was joined by his grandfather. An evocation of British waterways and connections across generations.
Dear Fahrenheit 451: A librarian's love letters and break-up notes to her books by Annie Spence $28
Read this with a pencil at the ready: not only will you be making yourself a reading list, you'll be wanting to start writing love letters and break-up notes to the books that you love or that have disappointed you.
The Traitor's Niche by Ismail Kadare $24
In the main square of Constantinople, a niche is carved into ancient stone. Here, the Ottoman sultan displays the severed heads of his adversaries. Tundj Hata, the imperial courier, is charged with transporting heads to the capital - a task he relishes and performs with fervour. But as he travels through obscure and impoverished territories, he makes money from illicit side-shows, offering villagers the spectacle of death. The head of the rebellious Albanian governor would fetch a very high price.
"The narrative unfurls with the shifting intensity of a dream, enriched by unsettlingly surreal details. It is a brilliant examination of the way that authoritarian structures operate: Kafka on a grander political scale." - Sunday Times
"Kadare is inevitably likened to Orwell and Kundera, but he is a far deeper ironist than the first, and a better storyteller than the second. He is a compellingly ironic storyteller because he so brilliantly summons details that explode with symbolic reality." - James Wood, The New Yorker
Essays on World Literature by Ismail Kadare $35
What can Aeschylus, Dante and Shakespeare teach us about resisting totalitarianism?
"Ismail Kadare's first and only collection of essays translated into English offers profound and highly personal meditations on 'great' writers in the world literary tradition. Kadare conceives of literature as art that 'cries with the world', seeking through letters to understand the uniquely and most deeply human: tragedy, violence, pain. The 'world' of Kadare's essays on 'world literature' is a reflection of his native Albania's 'impossible drama' on the global scale of human history, an observation at once parochial and profound, like the greatness of great art." - Sean Guynes-Vishniac, World Literature Today
The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid by Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis $30
It is an ordinary Tuesday morning in April when bored, lonely Charlie Fisher witnesses something incredible. Right before his eyes, in a busy square in Marseille, a group of pickpockets pulls off an amazing robbery. As the young bandits appear to melt into the crowd, Charlie realizes with a start that he himself was one of their marks. Yet Charlie is less alarmed than intrigued. This is the most thrilling thing that's happened to him since he came to France with his father, an American diplomat. So instead of reporting the thieves, Charlie defends one of them to the police, under one condition: he teach Charlie the tricks of the trade.
The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton $28
When the witch Rona Blackburn took vengeance against the men of Anathema Island, she also cursed her descendants to heartbreak, diminished magic, and an intrinsic bond to that remote northwestern locale. Now, ninth-generation Blackburn daughter Nor wants only to reach her 17th birthday leaving “the slightest mark humanly possible on the world. Despite physical and emotional scars, can she find the strength to stand against her villainous mother?
"An atmospheric, blood-drenched dark fantasy for a cold and stormy night." - Kirkus Reviews
Barcelona Cult Recipes by Stephan Mitsch $55
Visit Catalonia's buzzing metropolis through its local dishes. An exciting addition to the excellent 'Cult Recipes' series.
Book Towns by Alex Johnson $33
Visit 45 towns around the world (including Featherston in New Zealand) that celebrate the printed word.
The Periodic Table of Feminism by Marisa Bate $30
The history of feminism told through its individual active elements. What sorts of molecules could we construct from them?
One Knife, One Pot, One Dish: Simple French cooking at home by Stéphane Reynaud $45
Every short-cut that can be made, and every simplification, without compromising the authenticity or the deliciousness of these 160 classic recipes.
I Am Sasha by Anita Selzer $23
To elude the Nazi round-up of Polish Jews, a mother purchases fake Aryan ID papers, dresses her son as a girl (so his circumcision won't be discovered) and moves across Europe through displaced persons camps. The true story of the author's father and grandmother.
The Orange Balloon Dog: Bubbles, turmoil and avarice in the contemporary art market by Don Thompson $33
What, beyond aesthetics, is at play in the vast prices paid at auctions for contemporary art?
The Eye of the North by Sinead O'Hart $20
When Emmeline's scientist parents mysteriously disappear, she finds herself being packed off on a ship to France, heading for a safe house in Paris. On board she is befriended by an urchin stowaway called Thing. But before she can reach her destination she is kidnapped by the sinister Dr Siegfried Bauer. Dr Bauer is bound for the ice fields of Greenland to summon a legendary monster from the deep. And he isn't the only one determined to unleash the creature. The Northwitch has laid claim to the beast, too. Can Emmeline and Thing stop their fiendish plans and save the world?
The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary by Nonieqa Ramos $28
Macy's school officially classifies her as "disturbed," but Macy isn't interested in how others define her. She's got more pressing problems: her mother can't move off the couch, her father's in prison, her brother's been taken by Child Protective Services, and now her best friend isn't speaking to her. Writing in a dictionary format, Macy explains the world in her own terms.
The Lost War Horses of Cairo: The passion of Dorothy Brooke by Grant Hayter-Menzies $37
At the end of the First World War, thousands of British war horses were left behind in the Middle East. Dorothy Brooke, a wealthy Scottish socialite, visited Cairo in 1930 and was appalled at their fate. She founded the Old War Horse Memorial Hospital, dedicated the welfare of these and other animals.
With the End in Mind: Dying, death and denial in an age of denial by Kathryn Mannix $30
Our cultural fear of death has blinded us the very things that are most important in the last days of a life.
>> "We need to talk about dying." (Mannix on Radio NZ)
Macbeth (Hogarth Shakespeare series) by Jo Nesbo $37
The Elizabethan tragedy rewritten as a blood-soaked police drama set in a rainy northern town in the 1970s.other animals.
Ngaio Marsh: her life in crime by Joanne Drayton $30
A life split between her public and private personas, between crime and theatre, and between London and New Zealand.
Quantum Physics for Babies by Chris Ferrie $19
Meet electrons and learn about their energy and what they can and cannot do. A non-condescending board book.