Monday, June 26, 2017

The Nam Legacy

The Nam LegacyThe Nam Legacy

Carole Brungar
ISBN - 978 0 473 39520 9

The Nam Legacy is an epic love story set during the 60's and 70's. When the Rolling Stones and Jefferson Airplane drove parents crazy, teenagers found sexual freedom and peace slogans covered placards. When the Vietnam War abducted the nation's young men and sent them to fight in New Zealand's most controversial campaign.

After eighteen months in Vietnam, New Zealand soldier Jack Coles thought killing others to stay alive would be the hardest thing he would ever have to live with. He was wrong.
Although the nightmare of what he saw and did haunt him constantly, what tortures him the most is what he has left behind.
'Not everyone who lost his life in Vietnam died there, not everyone who came home from Vietnam ever left there.'

The most read stories of the past week on The Bookseller




Standing Room Only

Radio with pictures... and arts, theatre, film, comedy, books, dance, entertainment and music.

This week's stories

Botanical art

Botanical illustration's enjoying a renaissance at the moment, including here in New Zealand which is taking part in an international botanical art exhibition. Each country's working on a show highlighting indigenous plants. We have a wealth to choose from, and a group of enthusiastic illustrators working on submissions for the exhibition. The American Society of Botanical Artists came up with the idea and the event will mark the first Botanical Art Day on May 18th, 2018. Lynn Freeman gathers together three artists with very different styles, but with a shared love of flora - Lesley Alexander, Sue Wickison and Sandra Morris.
Jun 25, 2017 03:08 pm

Apirana Taylor's new novel is about love on the dole

He's kept us waiting a very long time for his second novel, but Apirana Taylor says he wanted to take his time on his love story of two people living on the fringe of society. While Mack and Puti are people most of us would rather not think about - their love for each other teeters on hate and violence at times. But despite ourselves, we end up caring about them. Apirana is best known as a poet, short story writer, storyteller, painter and actor. He tells Lynn Freeman that the title of the new novel, 'Five Strings', refers to a guitar the odd couple own in their rundown room. Five Strings is published by Anahera.
Jun 25, 2017 02:27 pm

The Laugh Track - Anya Tate-Manning

Actor, writer and political satirist Anya Tate-Manning is best known for the regular satirical show she does with her partner, James Nokise - Public Service Announcements. She's about to do a run of Hudson and Halls at Q Theatre. Her picks include French and Saunders, Josie Long, Ismo Leikola and The Muppets.
Jun 25, 2017 02:06 pm

2 million hits - Pot Luck has nothing to do with it!

The proliferation of TV platforms has opened up the world of small-screen drama like never before. But behind the new Golden Age of edgy drama and neo-noir, there's interesting stuff happening in miniature on the web - like a Kiwi web-series called Pot Luck. It's a sort of cross between Friends and Transparent - the story of three lesbian friends who each week face certain challenges. It's already a global mini-hit - 2 million views and counting. Simon Morris talks to Pot Luck's creators - producer Robin Murphy and writer-director Ness Simons. You can watch the whole of Series One here.
Jun 25, 2017 01:47 pm

Photo-journalist Paula Bronstein and the forgotten war

Her photograph of a grieving Afghan woman gently holding a toddler who could be sleeping or might be dead, has won American photojournalist Paula Bronstein her latest international award. "The Silent Victims of a Forgotten War" took out the Singles Daily Life category in the World Press Photo Exhibition, which is about to open in Auckland. Lynn Freeman asked Paula Bronstein - who spends much of her life in war zones - for the story behind the striking image. The photograph was taken for Getty Images, and the World Press Photo Exhibition opens on the 1st of July at Smith and Caughey's in Auckland.
Jun 25, 2017 01:35 pm

Healing quake-torn Kaikoura with music

Music we know is a great healer, and members of the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra have just been to quake-hit Kaikoura to play for children and for people who're struggling. Kaikoura Earthquake Recovery Team invited five CSO musicians to perform for local schools, for residents in the Kaikoura Health Facility, and the wider community during the week. CSO first violin Cathy Irons talks to Lynn Freeman about the experience.
Jun 25, 2017 12:50 pm

Colonial furniture restored to life

Dunedin's Larnarch Castle was effectively stripped of its furniture about a hundred years ago. But one of its hand crafted bookcases is about to be returned - albeit smaller than when it left. Colonial furniture expert and restorer Dr William Cottrell came across the bookcase in a Christchurch second hand shop, its provenance long since forgotten. He bought it and is in the final stages of restoring it to its former glory, before returning it to its grand home on the Otago Peninsula. Lynn Freeman visited William's big new woodworking shed in Lower Hutt.
Jun 25, 2017 12:12 pm

Older stories

Not all audio is available due to copyright restrictions

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Lowlife: Short Story Collection Published

Lowlife: short stories
by Michael Botur
ISBN-13: 978-1547018598

A Whangarei writer says ‘working class’ experiences he has had throughout his 20s and early 30s as part of Generation Rent inspired his latest short story collection.

Michael Botur releases Lowlife: short stories in Whangarei on July 12. The book is Botur’s fourth short story collection, with previous collections garnering strong reviews.

Lowlife has a thoroughly Northland flavour to it, featuring a unique “gang patch” cover referencing the ‘dirty realism’ style and content of the book.

“The Lowlife stories are about people stuck in conflict trying to work their way out of it, trying to make their lives better,” Botur says.

“My characters often share frustrations with me as we both try to make our lives better in a part of the country where there’s not much money circulating. Buying a cheap house in Tikipunga and trying to escape Generation Rent has been a particularly big influence on me. That’s a class conflict thing, and class conflict is a big theme in the stories.”

Michael Botur works as a freelance journalist for Northland DHB and as a content writer of blogs and property and parenting columns. His recent publications include poetry in Manifesto Aotearoa: 101 Political Poems published by Otago University Press and flash fiction selected for Bonsai: The Big Book of Small Stories by Canterbury University Press. Botur is author of previous short story collections Spitshine (2016), Mean (2013) and Hot Bible! (2012). Awards include Whangarei Libraries Flash Fiction Comp 2015 first and second place winner, Guest Fiction Writer for Tākahe magazine, third place in the Miles Hughes Award 2014, second in 2009’s Kiwi Short Story Competition and winner of Her magazine’s Short Story Competition 2008.

Lowlife is available from ( and
250pp ISBN-13: 978-1547018598 RRP $24.99

Conquistador Puzzle Trail translated into Spanish and free copies sent to 350 Schools and Universities in New Zealand

The Embassy of Spain in New Zealand and author Winston Cowie have collaborated and translated Cowie's book, Conquistador Puzzle Trail, into Spanish. Conquistador Puzzle Trail proposes that Spanish or Iberian navigators may have been the first Europeans to voyage to New Zealand, over 100 years pre Abel Tasman. 

The Spanish version is entitled "Nueva Zelanda, Un Puzzle Historico: Tras la pista de los conquistadores espanoles," which means: “New Zealand, a history puzzle: After the traces of the Spanish Conquistadors.”

As part of the celebration of launching the Spanish version, the Embassy of Spain and Cowie have sent a free English version, to 350 Secondary Schools and Universities in New Zealand.

The Ambassador of Spain comments that “this book focuses on the cultural relations between our two countries that despite being in the antipodes they might have shared a common history. It is really a food for thought not only for scholars but also for students in the schools of New Zealand.”

Author Winston Cowie, states "I am incredibly grateful to the Embassy of Spain, New Zealand for their ongoing collaboration and cooperation. To have Conquistador Puzzle Trail now translated into Spanish and distributed across Spain, and the English version now in most Secondary Schools and Universities in New Zealand is a proud moment. My hope is that students will read the book, and in time become teachers themselves, and perceptions changed in respect of the European discovery of New Zealand. What is needed is a robust public debate on the subject, and more research, in order to move knowledge forward. Everybody has a role to play."

The Embassy of Spain and Cowie have also offered a free personal copy to the first 10 history teachers that volunteer to write their own objective review on Conquistador Puzzle Trail.

The Embassy of Spain and Winston Cowie look forward to the ongoing discussion on the theory that the Spanish and other Iberians were the first Europeans to voyage to New Zealand.

“Plus ultra,” ‘Beyond’, as the Conquistadors would say.

National Flash Fiction Day Winners

Congratulations to the 2017 winners!

Prizegiving took place at the June 22 NFFD events in Auckland, Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington.

Here are this year’s winners (judges’ comments can be found here):






Gunshots Are Too Common by Patrick Pink, Auckland

Regional Prize, Auckland




When Winter Comes by Rachel Smith, Christchurch

Regional Prize, Canterbury




It won’t happen again by Shani Naylor, Wellington

Regional Prize, Wellington





Birdman in Aotea Square by Anita Arlov, Auckland

Kinaesthesia by Allan Drew, Auckland

Shipboard Romance by Fiona Lincoln, Lower Hutt

Spindrift by Janis Freegard, Wellington

The Math of Me by Jessica Thompson, Dunedin — Regional Prize, Otago





Peace and Quiet by Derek Jones, Auckland

Scar Tissue by Nikki Crutchley, Hamilton — Regional Prize, Hamilton


Scout by Robyn Maree Pickens, Dunedin

The Chlorinated Mermaid by Nikki Crutchley, Hamilton

Three Dresses by Jessie Puru, Auckland







The Cold by Joy Tong, age 15, Auckland



Dear Satan by Asha Clark, age 12, Tauranga



The Brass Angels by Russell Boey, age 15, Christchurch



What Happens Next by Jacinta van der Linden, age 17, Kaitaia




Cake and Ice-cream by Jana Heise, age 12, Northland

Ode to Joy by Monica Koster, age 15, Christchurch

The Worry Troll Who Lives in my Head by Annick Laird, age 15, Northland




Excuses by Joy Tong, age 15, Auckland

Interchange by Freya Kelly, age 12, Wellington

The Carnival by Dominic Botherway, age 10, Queenstown


The winning stories will be published in the special winter edition of Flash Frontier: An Adventure in Short Fiction –– forthcoming July/August.