Friday 8 February 2019


A Hypocritical Reader by Rosie Šnajdr         $22
"Splicing the Choose Your Own Adventure format, sci-fi, metafiction, absurdism and social critique, Rosie Snajdr's A Hypocritical Reader is experimental fiction at its most animated and innovative. This is the future literature we need but haven't seen. You read it here first." - Isabel Waidner 
"A warping, wending, distending, distressing, flaming lightening strike of a book. Snajdr summons forces to be reckoned with." - Eley Williams 
>>Read an excerpt
>> Why has the short story evaded the influence of modernist experiment?
The Condition of Secrecy by Inger Christensen       $36
A selection of remarkable, lyrical essays selected from the long oeuvre of this Danish poet, essayist and novelist, dealing with memory, politics, poetry, randomness, and other expressions of the individual's startling place in the universe. 
"Like all Christensen’s writing, The Condition of Secrecy aims to be a history of no less than everything: the origins of the stars and our souls, the beauty of fractals and of third-century Chinese poetry. It is a book about eating strawberries, witch-burning and the challenge that the soft, scumbled sides of clouds pose to geometry. It’s about standing in the garden and watching yellow slugs ‘moving like slow flames’ in sunlight. It’s a hectic kind of erudition that could easily seem showy, but in these essays we experience it as a kind of abundance, an outpouring of love for the world. Susanna Nied’s clean, musical translation helps. There is nothing knotty, nothing strained. The arguments radiate outward with the measured rhythm of ripples in water." —Parul Seghal, The New York Times
"She whispers to me in my own writing, a brilliant, fierce literary mother whom I will read and reread again and again." - Siri Hustvedt
Pearly Gates by Owen Marshall          $38
Pat`Pearly' Gates has achieved a lot in his life and evinces considerable satisfaction in his achievements. He has a reputation as a former Otago rugby player and believes he would have been an All Black but for sporting injuries. He runs a successful real-estate agency in a provincial South Island town, of which he is the second-term mayor. Popular, happily married, well established, he cuts an impressive figure, especially in his own eyes. But will his pride and complacency come before a fall? And if so, how will that come about? Who better than Owen Marshall to skewer South Island small town life? 
The Wall by John Lanchester          $33
In a not-too-distant (and, metaphorically, not-too-different) future, Britain is surrounded by a vast wall that keeps out not only the higher seas that are the result of climate change, but also the refugees and other 'Others' who want to get in. In atrocious conditions, the walls are guarded by the young, but if any Others get in , the same number of Defenders are put adrift in the sea. Will Kavanagh and Hifa survive? 
"The Wall is something new: almost an allegory, almost a dystopian-future warning, partly an elegant study of the nature of storytelling itself. I was hugely impressed by it." - Philip Pullman
>> Talking about The Wall
The Ear by Piret Raud       $22
When the artist Vincent van Gogh cuts off his ear, the ear is suddenly left alone and headless. What will become of her? Where should she go? What should she do? Acutely aware of how small and insignificant she is in the big, wide world, the ear experiences something of an identity crisis. Silly.

A Season on Earth by Gerald Murnane         $48
For the first time, all four sections of Murnane's second novel have been published together as the author intended. When A Lifetime on Clouds was published in 1976 it was met with acclaim, but the full extent of Murnane's novel, which instigates his fascination with the relationship between the landscape and what he calls 'the image world', has not been read before. 
>> Read Thomas's review of several of Murnane's novels here.
Amphigorey: Fifteen books by Edward Gorey         $45
An illustrated collection of 15 macabre stories (many now otherwise out of print): "The Unstrung Harp", "The Listing Attic", "The Doubtful Guest", "The Object Lesson", "The Bug Book", "The Fatal Lozenge", "The Hapless Child", "The Curious Sofa", "The Willowdale Handcar", "The Gashlycrumb Tinies", "The Insect God", "The West Wing", "The Wuggly Ump", "The Sinking Spell", "The Remembered Visit".
>> Also available: Born to Be Posthumous: The eccentric life and mysterious genius of Edward Gorey by Mark Dery 

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James          $38
Marlon James follows his remarkable 2015 Man Booker-winning A Brief History of Seven Killings with this remarkable fusion of African mythology, history and fantasy. 

"Black Leopard, Red Wolf is the kind of novel I never realized I was missing until I read it. A dangerous, hallucinatory, ancient Africa, which becomes a fantasy world as well-realized as anything Tolkien made, with language as powerful as Angela Carter's." -  Neil Gaiman
The Life of de'Ath by Majella Cullinane         $35
Theodore de'Ath is fixated on the Underworld. He reads Dante, Milton, and Goethe's Faust. He struggles to express his feelings for Elizabeth Paterson. When he is obliged to leave New Zealand for the trenches in France during World War One, he finds a Hell that is real and without the literary machinery he is used to.
Longlisted for the 2019 Acorn Prize for Fiction in the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards

>> Whisper of a Crow's Wing
The Spirit of Science Fiction by Roberto Bolaño      $30
Two young poets, Jan and Remo, find themselves adrift in Mexico City. Obsessed with poetry, and, above all, with science fiction, they are eager to forge a life in the literary world - or sacrifice themselves to it. A precursor to The Savage Detectives

Time Flowing Backwards by Graeme Jefferies       $45
Jefferies's memoir gives insight into the New Zealand independent music scene from the 1980s on, through his experiences with Nocturnal Projections, This Kind of Punishment and The Cakekitchen. 
>> This Kind of Punishment

Among the Lost by Emiliano Monge         $37
In the desolate wasteland between the sierra and the jungle, under an all-seeing, unforgiving sun, a single day unfolds unfolds in which people are trafficked and brutalised, illegal migrants are cheated of their money, their dreams, their names, as countless others scrabble towards the border, trying to reach a land they call Paraíso. 
"This is a book of unbearable affliction. It is written with the lucidity of someone who has opened his eyes and refused to shut them again. The book's power is not only in what it says. but in the silences that it leaves the reader's conscience to grapple with." - Yuri Herrera
"Among the Lost is masterly. Its rhythm and syntax form an unforgettable, multilayered requiem for our battered region." - Valeria Luiselli
In/Half by Jasmin B. Frelih            $33
It is twenty-five years into the future, and a glitch in the global communications network is ripping a previously united world apart at the seams. The millennials find themselves hardest hit – among them childhood friends Evan, an addict theatre director; Kras, a family patriarch and ex-war-minister; and Zoja, an anarchist poet. As they prepare to celebrate their fiftieth birthdays, the three find themselves hurtling through a disconnected world filled with the debris of past histories, as they desperately try and recapture the magic of their former lives and hold on to some sort of sense of belonging. 
Winner of the debut EU Prize for Literature.  
>> Interview and excerpt 
Beside Myself by Sasha Miarianna Salzmann         $38
When Anton goes missing and the only clue is a postcard sent from Istanbul, his twin sister Alissa leaves her life in Berlin to find him. Without her twin, the sharer of her memories and the mirror of her own self, Ali is lost. In a city steeped in political and social changes, where you can buy gender-changing drugs on the street, Ali's search - for her missing brother, for her identity - will take her on a journey for connection and belonging. 
"Salzmann thoughtfully and cleverly addresses the themes of memory, identity, and migration, asking if language, nationality, or gender are important for our self-definition." - World of Literature Today
Making Marks: Architects' sketchbooks - The creative process by Will Jones         $65
Shows how architects use thew physical sketch as a way of developing their ideas.

Fishing: How the sea fed civilisation by Brian Fagan      $38
Makes the case that the development and spread of civilisation was dependent upon, and demonstrative of, exploitation of the ocean's resources. 
The Missing Barbegazi by H.S. Norup         $17
Greta sets out to prove that her grandfather was right when he told stories of the Brabegazi, gnome-like creatures who live in the mountains. When she finds Barbegazi and uncovers a plot to capture them, she learns that some secrets are best kept secrets forever. 
ABC Off to Sea by Virginie Morgand    $25
Beautifully illustrated. Includes ropes, gulls and mermaids. 
Aspiring Daybook: The diary of Elsie Winslow by Annabel Wilson        $25
A year in the life of the fictional Elsie Winslow is recorded as poems, photographs, e-mails and notes, detailing her return from Europe to Wanaka to care for her dying brother. As the seasons turn and Elsie observes the minutiae of nature, Elsie begins to think about life and love in new ways. 
Longlisted for the poetry prize in the 2019 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards

The Beginning and the End of Everything: From the Big Bang to the end of the universe by Paul Parsons        $35
What is happening in our atoms and our cosmos?  
Plight of the Living Dead: What real-life zombies reveal about our world, and ourselves by Matt Simon        $30
How do some organisms control other organisms? An intriguing look at parasites, viruses, and zombification, a process that occurs with surprising regularity in the natural world, such as when a jewel wasp “brainwashes” a cockroach into hosting its young, or when a lancet fluke manifests different life cycles in sheep, snails, and ants. 

The Freedom Artist by Ben Okri          $33
Who is the prisoner? When a woman is arrested and disappears for asking this question, her lover begins a search for her that takes him deep into the mechanisms of oppression in a post-truth world. 
Frostfire by Jamie Smith          $19
Chosen for the honour of bonding with a frostsliver - a fragment of the sentient glacier that crests her icy home - Sabira embarks on the dangerous pilgrimage to the top of the mountain. When a huge avalanche traps her on the glacier and destroys the pass, Sabira is determined to find another way home. In order to survive, she must face up to the merciless mountain, but there are dark and fiery secrets hiding in its depths...

Hello Darkness by Peter Wells        $40
An honest and insightful account of the year following Wells's cancer diagnosis, and the reassessment of his identity and priorities that ensued.  

Resistance by Jennifer A. Nielsen          $23
Chaya Lindner is a teenager living in Nazi-occupied Poland who becomes a courier between the Jewish ghettos of Poland, smuggling food, papers, and even people. Soon Chaya joins a resistance cell that runs raids on the Nazis' supplies. But after a mission goes terribly wrong, Chaya's network shatters, and she finds herself on a journey toward an even larger uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Happy Ever After: Escaping the myth of the perfect life by Paul Dolan       $40
How are we tricked into aspiring to prepackaged satisfaction? By freeing ourselves from the myth of the perfect life, could we each find a life worth living?
>> Avoiding wellbeing

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