What I read: Poet, novelist and screenwriter Anne Kennedy

Poet, novelist and screenwriter, Anne Kennedy is a finalist for the Ockham NZ Book Awards.

Robert Cross/Supplied

Poet, novelist and screenwriter, Anne Kennedy is a finalist for the Ockham NZ Book Awards.

The Anne Kennedy Collection The sea enters a wall (Auckland University Press) is a finalist for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards 2022 Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry.

OPINION: summer water, by Sarah Moss. I wasn’t attracted to this short novel at first, with its obvious start, but I’m glad I persevered because summer water develops into something remarkable about our relationship (well, if you’re a middle-class city dweller) with land, family, and loneliness.

It takes place in a Scottish holiday park in wet weather. (I was reminded of the lower North Island during the August holidays.) Six families are locked in cabins without comfort or Internet, and are therefore forced to confront each other, from their memories and from the outside. And yes, the earth “is a character”.

* A quick chat with… Tayi Tibble
* Announcement of the finalists for the Ockham New Zealand Book Award 2022
* Authors awarded Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Excellence

There is also a subtle exploration of land ownership; these families are in a seemingly desolate vacation home, but they own these pieces of land. At the end, summer water – which reminded me of the equally wonderful Capital city, by John Lanchester – is both entertaining and thoughtful.

From a Native Girl: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawaii, by Haunani-Kay Trask. Since his death in 2021, I reread, with a mixture of sadness and inspiration, the essays in this seminal book by a Hawaiian scholar, activist and poet.

In a year in which the West mourned the passing of the great Joan Didion, Trask escaped unnoticed outside of her home country. Yet Trask’s writings, which are, like Didion’s, political and personalpower, guided its people through the permanent effects of colonization. As neighbors of Hawai’i, anyone in Aotearoa will find Trask’s book informative and profound.

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