Friday 10 September 2021


Koro by Gavin Bishop              $18
The child and their koro explore the day – they go for a walk, collect food from the garden, eat, tell stories, and snuggle up for a rest to finish. A beautiful, simple board book in te reo Māori.
>>Also available in English as Pops
Things I Learned at Art School by Megan Dunn               $35
A hilarious and personal collection of essays from a distinctive and resonant voice. Things I Learned at Art School tells the story of Dunn's early life and coming-of-age in New Zealand in the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s. From her parents’ split-up to her Smurf collection, from the mean girls at school to the mermaid movie Splash!, from her work in strip clubs and massage parlours (and one steak restaurant) to the art school of the title, this book has been eagerly anticipated—and very much worth waiting for. Chapters include: The Ballad of Western Barbie; A Comprehensive List of All the Girls Who Teased Me at Western Heights High School, What They Looked Like and Why They Did It; On Being a Redhead; Life Begins at Forty: That Time My Uncle Killed Himself; Good Girls Write Memoirs, Bad Girls Don’t Have Time; Videos I Watched with My Father; Things I Learned at Art School; CV of a Fat Waitress; Nine Months in a Massage Parlour Called Belle de Jour; Various Uses for a Low Self-esteem; Art in the Waiting Room; and Submerging Artist. We sold out our first shipment in two days—secure your copy from the next shipment now.
Water Statues by Fleur Jaeggy              $32
Even among Fleur Jaeggy's singular and intricate works, The Water Statues is a shiningly peculiar book. Concerned with loneliness and wealth's odd emotional poverty, this early novel is in part structured as a play: the dramatis personae include the various relatives, friends, and servants of a man named Beeklam, a wealthy recluse who keeps statues in his villa's flooded basement, where memories shiver in uncertain light and the waters run off to the sea. Dedicated to Ingeborg Bachmann and fleshed out with Jaeggy's austere yet voluptuous style, The Water Statues—with its band of deracinated, loosely related souls (milling about as often in the distant past as in the mansion's garden full of intoxicated snails)—delivers like a slap an indelible picture of the swampiness of family life.
Atua: Māori gods and heroes by Gavin Bishop          $40
Beautifully presented and endlessly fascinating, Bishop's new book belongs on every child's and every adult's bookshelf. Lively illustrations and text tell the unique stories of Aotearoa's gods, demigods and heroes.  
>>Other books by Gavin Bishop

The Women of Troy by Pat Barker          $37
Troy has fallen and the Greek victors are primed to return home, loaded with spoils. All they need is a good wind to lift their sails. But the wind does not come. The gods are offended — the body of Priam lies desecrated, unburied — and so the victors remain in uneasy limbo, camped in the shadow of the city they destroyed. The coalition that held them together begins to fray, as old feuds resurface and new suspicions fester. Largely unnoticed by her squabbling captors, erstwhile queen Briseis remains in the Greek encampment. She forges alliances where she can — with young, rebellious Amina, with defiant, aged Hecuba, with Calchus, the disgraced priest — and she begins to see the path to revenge. The sequel to the acclaimed The Silence of the Girls

Stranger to the Moon by Evilio Rosero          $32
Stranger to the Moon portrays a world that seems to exist outside history and geography, but taps into the dark myths and collective subconscious of Colombia's harrowing inequality and violence. A parable of pointed social criticism, with naked humans imprisoned in a house to serve the needs of 'the vicious clothed-ones', the novel describes what ensues when a single 'naked-one' privately rebels, risking his own death and that of his fellow prisoners. Each subsequent section of the book adds further layers to the ritualistic and bizarre social order that its characters inhabit. Trained insects and reptiles spy on all the naked-ones, and only the most fortunate reach old age (often by taking up strategic spots near the kitchen and grabbing for the fiercely contested food).
The Country of Others by Leïla Slimani          $33
Alsace, 1944. Mathilde finds herself falling deeply in love with Amine Belhaj, a Moroccan soldier, billeted in her town, fighting for the French. After the Liberation, Mathilde leaves France, following Amine to Morocco. But life here is unrecognizable to this brave and passionate young woman. Where she she once danced, bickered with her sister, her life is now that of a farmer's wife - with all the sacrifices and vexations that brings. Suffocated by the heat, by her loneliness on the farm, by the mistrust she inspires as a foreigner and by the lack of money Mathilde grows restless. As Morocco's own struggle for independence grows daily, Mathilde and Amine find themselves caught in the crossfire.
"Compelling." —Guardian
The Pink Jumpsuit: Short fictions, tall truths by Emma Neale          $35
A woman meets up with an ex-lover after twenty years, to be told an outrageous secret; a mother takes her ailing son to a doctor for an undocumented condition; a bride is left at the altar; a brother and sister reel from a family tragedy decades after the event; a children’s birthday party turns all Queen of the Flies; a hidden family legacy appears in a grand-daughter’s strange affliction. From everyday realism to the speculative and imaginary, recurring motifs in these stories (the scientist father; the mystery of identity even within families; what we can’t know about even those closest to us) toy with the boundaries between memory and the unknown: the blending of the real and the invented.
The Verso Book of Feminism: Revolutionary words from four millennia of rebellion edited by Jessie Kindig          $25
Throughout written history and across the world, women have protested the restrictions of gender and the limitations placed on women's bodies and women's lives. People-of any and no gender-have protested and theorized, penned manifestos and written poetry and songs, testified and lobbied, gone on strike and fomented revolution, quietly demanded that there is an 'I' and loudly proclaimed that there is a 'we'. The Book of Feminism chronicles this history of defiance and tracks it around the world as it develops into a multivocal and unabashed force.   Global in scope, The Book of Feminism shows the breadth of feminist protest and of feminist thinking, moving through the female poets of China's Tang Dynasty and accounts of indigenous women in the Caribbean resisting Columbus's expedition, British suffragists militating for the vote and the revolutionary petroleuses of the 1848 Paris Commune, the first century Trung sisters who fought for the independence of Nam Viet to women in 1980s Botswana fighting for equal protection under the law, from the erotica of the 6th century and the 19th century to radical queer politics in the 20th and 21st.  
The Book of Difficult Fruit: Arguments for the tart, tender, and unruly by Kate Lebo                $40
Inspired by twenty-six fruits, essayist, poet and 'pie lady' Kate Lebo expertly blends the culinary, medical and personal. A is for Aronia, berry member of the apple family, clothes-stainer, superfruit with reputed healing power. D is for Durian, endowed with a dramatic rind and a shifty odour – peaches, old garlic. M is for Medlar, name-checked by Shakespeare for its crude shape, beloved by gardeners for its flowers. Q is for Quince, which, fresh, gives off the scent of ‘roses and citrus and rich women’s perfume’ but if eaten raw is so astringent it wicks the juice from one’s mouth. In this work of unique invention, these and other difficult fruits serve as the central ingredients of twenty-six lyrical essays (and recipes!) that range from deeply personal to botanical, from culinary to medical, from humorous to philosophical. Delightful. 
"A beautiful, fascinating read full of surprises – a real pleasure." —Claudia Roden
Japanese Creativity: Contemplations on Japanese architecture by Yuichiro Edagawa                  $75
Edagawa sets out to try to determine the roots of a particularly Japanese architectural style by analyzing a wide variety of exemplary buildings from the sixth century to the present. Developing his theory out of close observation and practical knowledge and constantly shifting between historical and more recent examples, Edagawa isolates what he considers to be the distinctive characteristics of Japanese architectural creativity and composition: intimacy with nature, importance of materials, bipolarity and diversity, asymmetry, devotion to small space and an appreciation for organic form. He finds these qualities across Japanese design, and from these extrapolates a theory of Japanese architectural creation. 
The Hero's Way: Walking with Garibaldi from Rome to Ravenna by Tim Parks         $40
In 1849 Giuseppe Garibaldi fled Rome in the face of defeat by the French army, and struggled to Ravenna with a dwindling number of troops, hoping to reach Venice, which was still resisting the Austrian forces. Losing not only all his troops but his pregnant wife as well, Garibaldi escaped overseas to prepare himself for his successful campaign a decade later. Parks follows Garibaldi's footsteps across the Apennines and blends past and present in this well-written account. 
Ill Feelings: Stories of unexplained illness by Alice Hattrick            $35
In 1995 Alice’s mother collapsed with pneumonia. She never fully recovered and was eventually diagnosed with ME, or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Then Alice got ill. Their symptoms mirrored their mother’s and appeared to have no physical cause; they received the same diagnosis a few years later. Ill Feelings blends memoir, medical history, biography and literary non-fiction to uncover both of their case histories, and branches out into the records of ill health that women have written about in diaries and letters. Their cast of characters includes Virginia Woolf and Alice James, the poets Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Emily Dickinson, John Ruskin’s lost love Rose la Touche, the artist Louise Bourgeois and the nurse Florence Nightingale. Suffused with a generative, transcendent rage, Alice Hattrick’s genre-bending debut is a moving and defiant exploration of life with a medically unexplained illness.
"Ill Feelings is a deeply personal and deeply political reckoning with the nature of illness, inheritance, time, silence, bodies and invisibility. Alice Hattrick offers both a radical redefinition of the dominant narratives surrounding health and pain, and the knowledge we need in order to name, understand and resist them. Hattrick has found a voice and form which open up new and exciting possibilities for writing the self and making sense of the collective past: I read this remarkable book with outrage, fascination and immense admiration." — Francesca Wade
>>Collecting / recollecting. 
Handmade: A scientist's search for meaning through making by Anna Ploszajski          $38
From atomic structures to theories about magnetic forces, scientific progress has given us a good grasp on the properties of many different materials. However, most scientists cannot measure the temperature of steel just by looking at it, or sculpt stone into all kinds of shapes, or know how it feels to blow up a balloon of glass. Handmade is the story of materials through making and doing. Material scientist Anna Ploszajski journeys into the domain of makers and craftspeople to comprehend how the most popular materials really work. With knowledge accumulated over generations through hands-on trial and error, these experts understand the materiality of objects differently from a scientist. 
Snow Country by Sebastian Faulks          $37
1914;: Young Anton Heideck has arrived in Vienna, eager to make his name as a journalist. While working part-time as a private tutor, he encounters Delphine, a woman who mixes startling candour with deep reserve. Entranced by the light of first love, Anton feels himself fortunate—until his country declares war on hers. 1927: For Lena, life with a drunken mother in a small town has been impoverished and cold. She is convinced she can amount to nothing until a young lawyer, Rudolf Plischke, spirits her away to Vienna. But the capital proves unforgiving. Lena leaves her metropolitan dream behind to take a menial job at the snow-bound sanatorium, the Schloss Seeblick. 1933: Still struggling to come terms with the loss of so many friends on the Eastern Front, Anton, now an established writer, is commissioned by a magazine to visit the mysterious Schloss Seeblick. In this place of healing, on the banks of a silvery lake, where the depths of human suffering and the chances of redemption are explored, two people will see each other as if for the first time.
The Boy Who Tried to Shrink His Name by Sandhya Parappukkaran      $28
When Zimdalamashkermishkada starts a new school, he is sure he has to do something about his long name. ​ When no amount of shrinking, folding or crumpling works, he simply settles for Zim – but deep down, it doesn’t feel right. It’s not until a new friend sees him for who he truly is that Zimdalamashkermishkada finds the confidence to step boldly into his long name.

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