Friday 12 June 2020

Colin McCahon: Is This the Promised Land? (Volume 2: 1960—1987) by Peter Simpson       $80
Remarkable both for its breadth and its depth of insight, Peter Simpson's work on New Zealand's most important artist is completed in this second volume. Through landscapes, biblical paintings and abstraction, the introduction of words and Maori motifs, McCahon's work came to define a distinctly New Zealand Modernist idiom. Collected and exhibited extensively in Australasia and Europe, McCahon's work has not been assessed as a whole for thirty-five years.
"New Zealand's foremost artist Colin McCahon is many things to many people: modernist, visionary, environmentalist, shaman, preacher, rustic provincialist, bicultural trailblazer, painter-poet, graffiti artist, teacher, maverick. Peter Simpson's account interrogates as well as accommodates all of these possibilities. Guiding us year by year through the artist's career, he offers a ground-breaking overview of the life's work of a tenacious, brilliant and endlessly fascinating figure." —Gregory O'Brien
>>Volume 1: There is Only One Direction, 1919—1959     $75
>>Stunning slip-cased limited edition, 2 volumes, signed    $175
The White Dress by Nathalie Léger      $36
On 8 March 2008 the Italian performance artist Pippa Bacca set out to hitchhike from Milan to Jerusalem in a wedding dress, documenting her journey with a video camera. On 31 March her body was found in woods on the outskirts of Istanbul. In telling the young woman's story, which overwhelms her and inexorably draws her in, Léger recounts the different stages of her research and the writing of the book. She strikes upon something fundamental within Bacca's performance: the desire to remedy the unfathomable nature of violence and war, and the failure of art to ameliorate these harms.
>>Read an extract.
>>On the road.
>>Read Thomas's review of Exposition.
>>Read Thomas's review of Suite for Barbara Loden
Nothing to See by Pip Adam         $30
The new novel from the winner of the 2018 Acorn Prize for Fiction unsettles as it compels, undermining the reader's conceptions of the workings of reality in the age of surveillance capitalism. Adam both attracts and deflects attention to her characters, effective or abandoned doubles, shrinking from the twin monstrosities of alcohol and boredom in a novel both mathematical and disconcerting. 
"Adam has advanced even further as a writer. There is an evenness to her writing that is hypnotic rather than monotonous, steady rather than flat, and the sustained melancholy recalls the sadder end of science-fiction — films like Her and Never Let Me Go. At its heart, this is a novel about shame, loneliness, about wanting to do good and hoping for second chances — or third or fourth chances. It’s about finding new ways of being. That it can cover all this, and be deeply affecting as it does so, while also pushing at the traditional limits of fiction, is a real achievement." —Philip Mathews (ANZL)
>>An extract.
>>Twins in Sims
>>The New Animals.  
Minor Detail by Adania Shibli        $32
Minor Detail begins during the summer of 1949, one year after the war that the Palestinians mourn as the Nakba—the catastrophe that led to the displacement and exile of some 700,000 people—and the Israelis celebrate as the War of Independence. Israeli soldiers murder an encampment of Bedouin in the Negev desert, and among their victims they capture a Palestinian teenager and they rape her, kill her, and bury her in the sand. Many years later, in the near-present day, a young woman in Ramallah tries to uncover some of the details surrounding this particular rape and murder, and becomes fascinated to the point of obsession, not only because of the nature of the crime, but because it was committed exactly twenty-five years to the day before she was born. Adania Shibli overlays these two translucent narratives of exactly the same length to evoke a present forever haunted by the past.
"All novels are political and Minor Detail, like the best of them, transcends the author’s own identity and geography. Shibli’s writing is subtle and sharply observed. The settlers and soldiers she describes in the second half of the novel are rendered with no malice or artifice, and as an author Shibli is never judgmental or didactic. The book is, at varying points, terrifying and satirical; at every turn, dangerously and devastatingly good." —Fatima Bhutto, Guardian
"An extraordinary work of art, Minor Detail is continuously surprising and absorbing: a very rare blend of moral intelligence, political passion, and formal virtuosity." —Pankaj Mishra
Funkhaus by Hinemoana Baker       $25
A strong collection from a vital poet; radio signals crackling across the spaces between people, between cultures, between generations, and between worlds. 
I am not a building I say I have no pull-out map is what I meant to say so we deal with what comes up yes right there in the passersby one horse at a time you stepping 
out into traffic with your hand held up strong and me thanking every fucker for their help 
The Adventures of China Iron by Gabriela Cabezón Cámara      $38
A remarkable reimagining of Argentina's macho national origin myth from a female perspective; a joyful, hallucinatory journey across the pampas of 19th century.
"The Adventures of China Iron sets British industry and Argentine expansion against the sisterhood of the wagon and an indigenous society of fluid genders and magic mushrooms. Sentences bound on from one page to another, seeming almost as long as the vignette-like chapters, in a thrilling and mystical miniature epic. This story, drunk on words and visions, is an elegy to the land and its lost cultures." —Guardian
>>Short-listed for the 2020 International Booker Prize
Index Cards by Moyra Davey           $34
In these essays, the artist, photographer, writer, and filmmaker Moyra Davey often begins with a daily encounter—with a photograph, a memory, or a passage from a book—and links that subject to others, drawing fascinating and unlikely connections, until you can almost feel the texture of her thinking. While thinking and writing, she weaves together disparate writers and artists—Mary Wollstonecraft, Jean Genet, Virginia Woolf, Janet Malcolm, Chantal Akerman, and Roland Barthes, among many others—in a way that is both elliptical and direct, clearheaded and personal, prismatic and self-examining, layering narratives to reveal the thorny but nourishing relationship between art and life.
"Her work is steeped in literature and theory without being deformed by contemporary iterations of such. I have a deep admiration of her as an artist, thinker, writer, and person." —Maggie Nelson, Artforum
>>Read an extract
>>Davey and her notebook
You Have a Lot to Lose: A memoir, 1956—1986 by C.K. Stead        $50
In this second volume of his memoirs, Stead takes us from the moment he left New Zealand for a job in rural Australia, through study abroad, writing and a university career, until he left the University of Auckland to write full time aged fifty-three. It is a tumultuous tale of literary friends and foes (Curnow and Baxter, A. S. Byatt and Barry Humphries and many more) and of navigating a personal and political life through the social change of the 1960s and 70s.
>>"I'm an alien, a book man.
>>'Janet Frame and Me" (extracted from the book)
Observations of a Rural Nurse by Sara McIntyre        $55
Sara McIntyre, the daughter of the artist Peter McIntyre, was nine years old when her family first came to Kākahi, in the King Country, in 1960. The family has been linked to Kākahi ever since. On the family car trips of her childhood, McIntyre got used to her fathers frequent stops for subject matter for painting. Fifty years on, when she moved to Kākahi to work as a district nurse, she began to do the same on her rounds, as a photographer. This book brings together her remarkable photographic exploration her observations of Kākahi and the sparsely populated surrounding King Country towns of Manunui, Ohura, Ongarue, Piriaka, Owhango and Taumarunui.
Know Your Place by Golriz Ghahraman        $40
When she was nine, Golriz Ghahraman and her parents were forced to flee their home in Iran. After a terrifying and uncertain journey, they landed in Auckland where they were able to seek asylum and create a new life. Ghahraman talks about making a home in Aotearoa New Zealand, her work as a human rights lawyer, her United Nations missions, and how she became the first refugee to be elected to the New Zealand Parliament.
Root, Stem, Leaf, Flower: How to cook with vegetables and other plants by Gill Mellor        $55

A celebration of seasonal vegetables and fruit, packed with 120 simple and surprisingly quick vegetarian recipes. With roots, we think of the crunch of carrots, celeriac, beetroot. From springtime stems like our beloved asparagus and rhubarb, through leaves of every hue (kale, radicchio, chard), when the blossoms become the fruits of autumn - apples, pears, plums - the food year is marked by growth, ripening and harvest. Beautifully presented, with photographs by Andrew Montgomery. 

Burn by Patrick Ness       $28
“On a cold Sunday evening in early 1957, Sarah Dewhurst waited with her father in the parking lot of the Chevron Gas Station for the dragon he'd hired to help on the farm.” This dragon, Kazimir, has more to him than meets the eye. Sarah can't help but be curious about him, an animal who supposedly doesn't have a soul but is seemingly intent on keeping her safe from the brutal attentions of Deputy Sheriff Emmett Kelby. Kazimir knows something she doesn't. He has arrived at the farm because of a prophecy. A prophecy that involves a deadly assassin, a cult of dragon worshippers, two FBI agents – and somehow, Sarah Dewhurst herself.
Thinking inside the Box: Adventures with crosswords and the puzzling people who can't live without them by Adrienne Raphel       $35
"A gold mine of revelations. If there is a pantheon of cruciverbalist scholars, Adrienne Raphel has established herself squarely within it." —Mary Norris
The Whole Picture: The colonial story of the art in our museums and why we need to talk about it by Alice Procter          $40
Should museums be made to give back their marbles? Is it even possible to 'decolonise' our galleries? Must Rhodes fall? From the stolen Wakandan art in Black Panther, to Emmanuel Macron's recent commitment to art restitution, the question of decolonising our relationship with the art around us is quickly gaining traction. People are waking up to the seedy history of the world's art collections, and are starting to ask difficult questions about what the future of museums should look like. The Whole Picture is a much-needed provocation to look more critically at the accepted narratives about art, and rethink and disrupt the way we interact with the museums and galleries that display it.
>>Uncomfortable Art Tours
Who Did this Poo? A matching and memory game by Aidan Onn      $25
Quickly builds children's familiarity with, and knowledge of, animal droppings and dung. Fun. 

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