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The Selected Letters of Frank Sargeson

Sarah Shieff

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Frank Sargeson (1903-1982) is one of New Zealand's best-loved and most significant authors, widely regarded as the father of modern New Zealand fiction. Although best known for his short stories, Sargeson was also a playwright and an acclaimed novelist, and his three-volume memoir is a classic of New Zealand literary non-fiction. Beyond that, however, Sargeson was a dedicated champion and mentor of other New Zealand writers - most notably of Maurice Duggan, Janet Frame, AP Gaskell, Kevin Ireland and CK Stead - and a careful and copious correspondent.

His letters document life at the epicentre of New Zealand literary culture, and also record the international literary associations which were instrumental in taking New Zealand writing to the world stage. Letters of Frank Sargeson (Auckland: Vintage, 2012) presents 500 of the surviving 6000 letters, carefully contextualised and annotated.

The earliest is a postcard from Paris written in 1927; the last is a letter to his dear friend Janet Frame, written shortly before his death. This scholarly edition also explains the selection process and sources, and gives biographical notes on Sargeson’s key correspondents, examples of his typescript and manuscript, and a full bibliography.

Random House NZ Vintage (Feb, 2012)

ISBN: 9781869793333

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Migration, Ethnicity, and Mental Health

Catharine Coleborne, Angela McCarthy

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Most investigations of foreign-born migrants emphasize the successful adjustment and settlement of newcomers. Yet suicide, heavy drinking, violence, family separations, and domestic disharmony were but a few of the possible struggles experienced by those who relocated abroad in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and were among the chief reasons for committal to an asylum. Significant analysis of this problem, addressing the interconnected issues of migration, ethnicity, and insanity, has to date received little attention from the scholarly community.

This international collection examines the difficulties that migrants faced in adjustment abroad, through a focus on migrants and mobile peoples, issues of ethnicity, and the impact of migration on the mental health of refugees. It further extends the migration paradigm beyond patients to incorporate the international exchange of medical ideas and institutional practices, and the recruitment of a medical workforce. These issues are explored through case studies which utilize different social and cultural historical methods, but with a shared twin purpose: to uncover the related histories of migration, ethnicity, and mental health, and to extend existing scholarly frameworks and findings in this under-developed field of inquiry.

Routledge (Dec, 2011)

ISBN: 0415895804

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Piano Forte - Stories and Sounds from Colonial New Zealand

Kirstine Moffat

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In 1827 the newly wed Elizabeth Mair arrived in Paihia, on board the mission schooner Herald. Her treasured Broadwood grand square piano accompanied her, almost certainly the first piano to arrive in New Zealand.

This instrument and the thousands of other pianos that followed provided European settlers with a reassuring sense of ‘home; and at the same time introduced Maori to a new sounds world. For both, it offered opportunities for social and cultural activities, and, as time went by, a possible career.

Piano Forte is composed of many voices, as it draws on memoirs, diaries, letters, concert programmes, company records, fiction and visual images. The stories end in 1930, when the increasing popularity of the phonograph, the radio and the introduction of talkie movies were beginning to have a profound impact on people leisure activities. But by 1930, the piano had thoroughly settled in, no longer a stranger but a loved, essential part of New Zealand society.

Otago University Press (Dec, 2011)

ISBN: 187737279X

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Telemann: 12 Fantasias for Solo Violin

Lara Hall

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“As a performer on both the baroque and modern violin, I have two very different musical personas. With this CD I have tried to create, on a modern violin, as much of the sound world of a baroque violinist as possible with minimal concession to the natural characteristics of the modern violin.”

Lara Hall

Atoll Records (Oct, 2011)

The Juniper Passion

Michael F. Williams

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The Juniper Passion is a 2011 opera by New Zealand composer Michael F. Williams to a libretto by John Davies. The opera is set in 1944 during the World War II Battle of Monte Cassino, an Allied victory, but with a loss of life totalling approximately 105,000 deaths, including many New Zealand soldiers, over the series of battles. The Juniper Passion is written in three acts, six principle roles and chorus and is scored for chamber orchestra with digital effects. Performance is through dance with only minimal movement and interaction by the singing cast. In place of traditional sets, the opera has a 3-D computer graphic set design by Sean Castle that recreates the Benedictine abbey at Cassino. This is interspersed with images taken during the battle by Richard Ferguson Davies, father of librettist John Davies.

The first performance of The Juniper Passion was in April 2012 in Hamilton, New Zealand. The Juniper Passion was recorded and produced in 2011 by Wayne Laird of the New Zealand label, Atoll Records. It made use of the Auckland Town Hall organs, digital effects created by the composer and a full cast of singers including New Zealand baritone David Griffiths and leading musicians including the New Zealand Chamber Soloists.

Atoll Records (Sep, 2011)

Madness in Museums

Catharine Colborne, Dolly Mackinnon

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Associate Professor Catharine Coleborne focuses on how psychiatric history is displayed in museums and how the past of psychiatric treatment is remembered in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK, in her new co-edited book, Exhibiting Madness in Museums: Remembering Psychiatry through Collection and Display. Cathy says this is a new way of studying the history of mental health.

“While much has been written on the history of psychiatry, remarkably little has been written about psychiatric collections or curating,” says Cathy. “This book tells us new things about how patients and consumers of mental health lived in these institutional spaces and how their 'things' had meaning to them.”

This is Associate Professor Coleborne’s third co-edited book and her fifth book in total. It was launched at the Australia and New Zealand Society for the History of Medicine Conference in July 2011.

Routledge (Jun, 2011)

ISBN: 0415880920

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Empire and Environmental Anxiety: Health, Science, Art and Conservation in South Asia and Australasia, 1800-1920

James Beattie

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In his new book, Empire and Environmental Anxiety: Health, Science, Art and Conservation in South Asia and Australasia, 1800-1920, published by Palgrave Macmillan (2011), Senior Lecturer Dr James Beattie provides a radical and fascinating new analysis of imperialism and environmental change.

Empire and Environmental Anxiety promises to reinterpret histories of the British Empire by unearthing early concerns about human-induced climate change, soil erosion, and a looming timber famine. The book also reveals colonial fears about the power of environments – and environmental change – to affect health.

Empire and Environmental Anxiety further argues that conservation represented a form of imperial control designed to generate revenue and to enable the more efficient exploitation of resources. Environmental anxiety, it demonstrates, tied together parts of South Asia and Australasia through exchanges of policies, people, plants and ideas.

Empire and Environmental Anxiety will be launched at the November conference of the New Zealand Historical Association being held here on the Waikato Campus, 16-18 November 2011.

Palgrave Macmillan (Jun, 2011)

ISBN: 0230553206

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Toru: Chamber Music by Martin Lodge

Martin Lodge

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New Zealand Herald Review, May 12, 2012
William Dart

Martin Lodge is a composer with a solid orchestral portfolio. Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra premiered his 1994 Symphony together with two shorter pieces, Hinterland (1998) and Aer (2002); the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra included his 2008 Winterset among its series of specially-commissioned "mini-concertos".

Of these, only Hinterland is available on commercial CD, so it is good to have a generous selection of Lodge's smaller-scale work on a new Atoll release, Toru.

The album's title comes from a 2003 trio for clarinet, cello and taonga puoro. The compositional processes are radical for a proven symphonist - Lodge has Peter Scholes, James Tennant and Richard Nunns weaving their music from a score that suggests rather than stipulates.

Full New Zealand Herald Review

Atoll Records (2011)

Coping with Work Stress

Michael P O'Driscoll, Philip J. Dewe, Cary L. Cooper

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The workplace is becoming all encompassing. New technology means we are never far from an email or voice message, do not have to be in a specific place to work and are contactable at all times of the day. The recession also means it is now common for one person to be doing the work of three, increasing the work load and the pressure.

So how do we cope with workplace stress? Coping with Work Stress examines the pressures that employees face in the modern working environment, what factors are involved, and how individual employee and organisations can reduce workplace stress.

“More and more people these days are feeling there is added pressure in their job, which is also putting pressure on their family life,” says Professor Michael O’Driscoll. “Expectations of people have increased as well, which is partly due to technology.”

How people cope with work stress, and whether they can manage their work stress effectively, depends on a number of factors. Coping with Work Stress covers topics as diverse as coping with work overload, uncertainty in one’s work environment, interpersonal conflicts, and conflict between work and family life. In addition to examining how individual workers cope with these issues, it also considers what can be done by organisations to manage work-related stressors.

Finally, the book focuses on how research on this topic needs to develop in order to enhance our understanding of coping with work stress, which is becoming an increasingly important issue. The book is co-authored by Professor Philip J. Dewe from Birkbeck College (University of London) and Professor Cary L. Cooper from Lancaster University.

Wiley-Blackwell (Nov, 2010)

ISBN: 0470997672

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Letters of Denis Glover

Sarah Shieff

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Oh Christ, a bloody ½ witted student, for purposes of an essay, has just come in to ask me what I and Baxter write verse for, and if we mean what we say, or is there something deeper; could we write better verse in England, or here; or do the critics and professors just read a lot into what’s said that isn’t there? So much. And I have been very rude indeed. – Letter to John Reece Cole, 16 August 1949

Nothing about this excerpt from a letter by Denis Glover will surprise anyone who knows him by reputation. He – and his letters – could be witty, intelligent, alarmingly frank and frequently highly entertaining.

A widely admired poet, honoured naval commander, gifted printer and typographer, Denis Glover was founder of the Caxton Press in Christchurch. For 15 years from 1935 he directed a publishing programme that did much to define New Zealand literature for its day, and for much of the rest of the century. His literary work was suspended for war service in the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy, during which he earned a DSC for his activities in the Normandy landings.

But he was also a serial philanderer and prodigious drinker, and his private life increasingly disintegrated around him, more and more publicly. And yet his energy as a correspondent appeared never to wane, and almost to the end he confided openly, prolifically and entertainingly to hundreds of acquaintances and confidants.

In this magnificent volume Sarah Shieff presents around 500 of Glover’s letters to around 110 people, drawn from an archive of nearly 3000 letters to over 430 recipients. Many now recall Glover as little more than a misogynistic old fart, a court jester. These letters should give readers the opportunity to revise – or at least complicate – those dismissive categorisations.