Nau mai, haere mai to ‘He Timotimo’, Wellington City Libraries’ new te reo Māori taster sessions!
We know it can be scary to start learning a new language and that te reo Māori classes fill up quickly in Wellington so we are pleased to announce that we have free, friendly classes Tuesday lunchtimes that are available for bookings now.
These are introductory classes for beginners and will have a new topic each week as a taster, he timotimo, to get you started. The sessions will be fun and you will be supported as you learn the basics with our specially designed programme developed by Neavin Broughton and taught in association with Te Reihine Roberts-Thompson.
Tuesdays 12:15 – 1:15pm.
He Matapihi Molesworth Library
National Library of New Zealand
70 Molesworth Street
These taster sessions are suitable for absolute beginners and we are now taking bookings. Each class will feature a new topic. Bookings will be essential for each date as numbers are limited. As each week is booked separately you don’t need to worry if you have to miss a week.
The classes are informal and you will not need textbooks or other materials, you might just want to bring a notebook and pen to take some notes.
As the world becomes increasingly galvinised by the Black Lives Matter and Anti-Racist movements we must remember that New Zealand is not immune to racism. Our history of colonisation and immigration has given us our own struggles that need to be understood and overcome. The books listed below offer a starting point for understanding racial politics in New Zealand from a Māori perspective.
Hīkoi: forty years of Māori protest / Harris, Aroha Hīkoi provides an overview of the contemporary Māori protest movement, a summary of the rationale behind the actions, and photographs of protests, marches, and the mahi behind the scenes. Results of protest are also discussed including the Waitangi Tribunal; Māori becoming an official language; Māori-medium education; and Māori television.
What is decolonisation and why do we need it in New Zealand? This book discusses why it is needed if we are going to build a country that is fair and equal for all who live here, as well as what it could look and feel like.
Ka whawhai tonu mātou: Struggle without end / Walker, Ranginui
A revised edition of this best-selling history of New Zealand from a Māori perspective. Dr Walker discusses the fact that Māori have been involved in an endless struggle for justice, equality and self-determination for the last two centuries. A challenging must-read for all New Zealanders.
Decolonizing methodologies: research and indigenous peoples / Smith, Linda Tuhiwai
This is a revised and updated edition of a landmark work. It explores how imperialism and research interact and how this has had an impact on ‘knowledge’ and ‘tradition’. Social justice and concepts such as ‘discovery’ and ‘claiming’ are discussed and it is argued that it is necessary to decolonise research methods in order to reclaim control over indigenous ways of knowing and being.
Journey towards justice / Workman, Kim
Kim Workman is a central figure in the ongoing discussion of justice and prison policy in New Zealand. This is a powerful first-hand account of struggle, spirituality and questions of cultural identity as well as the state and social forces that have helped shape contemporary New Zealand.
Bridget Williams Books The NZ History Collection
Provides online access to over thirty years of award-winning history and biography publishing from Bridget Williams Books – includes over 90 New Zealand history titles. You will need your library card and pin number to access these full-text scholarly works.
Old Asian, new Asian / Ng, K. Emma
Did you know that a 2010 Human Rights Commission report found that Asian people reported higher levels of discrimination than any other minority in New Zealand? This anecdotal account is based on Ng’s personal experience as a second-generation young Chinese-New Zealand woman and explores the persistence of racism against Asians in New Zealand.
Libraries are places where we can find resources to help us learn about the experiences of others. We can then take what we have learnt and use our understanding of people and situations to make the world a better place. It might sound cliched, but knowledge and truth do educate and empower us.
We have many excellent non-fiction resources at Wellington City Libraries that can give an insight into the Black Lives Matter and #GiveNothingToRacism movements and the current racial and political situation in the United States of America.
Step outside of your comfort zone and confront some harsh realities with the resources listed below.
How to be an antiracist / Kendi, Ibram X
Following on from his National Book Award-winning and New York Times best-selling Stamped from the Beginning Kendi considers here what an antiracist society might look like. Founding director of the Antiracism Research and Policy Center, Kendi shows that neutrality on racism is not an option and that until we become part of the solution, we will only be part of the problem. He helps us recognise that everyone is, at times, complicit in racism whether they realise it or not and shows us how instead to be a force for good. Ebook but also available as an audiobook.
Eloquent rage: a black feminist discovers her superpower/Cooper, Brittney C.
Black feminist Brittney Cooper explores the theory that that anger is a powerful source of energy that can give us the strength to keep on fighting. Rather than seeing black women’s anger as a destructive force that threatens the civility and social fabric of the USA, Cooper shows us that black women’s eloquent rage is what makes Serena Williams a powerful tennis player, what makes Beyoncé’s anthems resonate, and what makes Michelle Obama an icon. Eloquent rage reminds women that they don’t have to settle for less. A positive, uplifting exploration of black feminism. Ebook, but also available as an audiobook.
The new Jim Crow: mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness / Alexander, Michelle Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, has called this book a ‘call to action’, as it challenges the notion that the election of Barack Obama signaled a new era of colorblindness. Legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that ‘we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it’. She further asserts that by targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control—relegating millions to a permanent second-class status—even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness. Also available as an ebook, and an audiobook.
“It is rock-star writing: entertaining, revealing and incredibly heartfelt”
The 2020 General Non-Fiction Award went to Shayne Carter, musician and front man of Straitjacket Fits and Dimmer, for his memoir, Dead People I Have Known (Victoria University Press). Carter also won the E.H. McCormick Prize for best first work of General Non-Fiction. The category judges said of the first-time author’s work: “It is rock-star writing: entertaining, revealing and incredibly heartfelt”. Rachel King’s marvelous Spin Off essay about Dead People I Have Known noted that: “The best thing about the book is Shayne’s ability to fully recreate a scene as if he is standing right there experiencing it, and we are standing there with him”. Reserve a copy of this powerful book here.
Watch Shayne Carter read from Dead People I Have Knownhere.
“From the obscure and ephemeral to the well-known and loved, the images allow us to be witness to – and challenge us to learn from – our shared past of resistance, dissent and activism”
Stephanie Gibson, Matariki Williams (Tūhoe, Te Atiawa, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Hauiti), and Puawai Cairns (Ngāti Pūkenga, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāiterangi) – three Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa curators – won the 2020 Illustrated Non-Fiction Award for their work Protest Tautohetohe: Objects of Resistance, Persistence and Defiance. The judges observed that: “From the obscure and ephemeral to the well-known and loved, the images allow us to be witness to – and challenge us to learn from – our shared past of resistance, dissent and activism”.
Alice Webb-Liddall wrote that: “Movements led by Māori, by women and by children continue to shape New Zealand’s community and policy, and have made us world leaders in areas like women’s suffrage. A collection of objects become the markers of every movement, and Stephanie Gibson, Matariki Williams and Puawai Cairns have collated some of the most important, most beautiful and most confronting of these”. Reserve a copy of this fascinating and important book here.
Watch Stephanie Gibson read from Protest Tautohetohe: Objects of Resistance, Persistence and Defiance here.
“The book is not only a reflection of New Zealand’s diversity of people and whenua, but also speaks to how we interact with our environment”
Our Kanopy and Beamafilm streaming platforms have a great selection of FREE content from Aotearoa and the Pacific. It’s always good to see our own cultures represented on the screen, so while we are still spending a lot of time at home grab the opportunity to watch some gems that have a Māori and Pasifika kaupapa!
This blog only highlights a small selection of films including emotional movies, documentaries, and a feel good gem about musicians and finding yourself. You will find more if you search ‘Māori’, ‘New Zealand’, or a specific Pasifika country within Kanopy or Beamafilm.
Go ahead and immerse yourself in the stories of Aotearoa and the Pacific!
The Orator is a beautiful and emotional movie that was written and directed by Samoan film-maker Tusi Tamasese and shot entirely in Samoan on location in Samoa itself. Saili’s story is one of love and challenges as he learns he must stand tall, despite his small stature, to become a hero. Highly recommended.
You can also watch Tamasese’s other feature film, One Thousand Ropes, on Kanopy.
Kuo Hina E Hiapo: The Mulberry is White and Ready for Harvest
Length: 28 minutes
Directors: Joseph Ostraff, Melinda Ostraff
Tapa cloth is a true artistic treasure of the Pacific. In Tonga it is called ngatu and this short documentary illustrates ngatu’s symbolic importance and collaborative production. Beautiful and fascinating!
Merata Mita was the first Māori woman to write and direct a dramatic movie when she brought out Mauri in 1988. Set on the East Coast, Mauri stars Anzac Wallace (Utu) and activist Eva Rickard. This is a landmark film from a landmark Māori film maker.
You can also watch Ngati on Kanopy, another ground-breaking film from a Māori film maker, this time Barry Barclay.
Eight female Māori directors give us eight connected stories, each taking place at the same moment in time during the tangi of a small boy called Waru. This is a very moving and challenging film with all eight stories subtly linked while following different female characters. All must come to terms with Waru’s death and try to find a way forward within their community.
A tangi is at the heart of Waru. If you want to learn about Māori protocols surrounding tangi, or other Māori topics, our Māori Information Resources page is an excellent place to start.
The Rain of the Children
Length: 102 minutes
Director: Vincent Ward
I love this film. Vincent Ward’s beautiful dramatic documentary explores the life of Tuhoe woman Puhi and her relationship to Rua Kenana and the community at Maungapohatu. Ward looks at the curse Puhi believed she lived under in an incredibly moving way, and the result is a jewel of a film.
You can also watch Vincent Ward’s first film about Puhi, In Spring One Plants Alone, on Kanopy.
Length: 107 minutes
Director: Toa Fraser
Woo hoo! Revenge and action abound in Toa Fraser’s movie starring James Rolleston and Lawrence Makoare. You gotta love the use of mau rākau – a traditional Māori martial art – and a script in te reo Māori!
My whānau love this heartfelt film about a musician and his reggae band on a road trip of music and self discovery. Francis Kora is wonderful as Danny who is unsettled, and then opened up to his culture, when Tau (Matariki Whatarau) joins the band. Music, landscape, laughs and love – beautiful and simple.
The band in The Pa Boys sets out from Wellington where Danny lives. If you love the music scene in Wellington you can learn more about it on our dedicated Wellington Music page.
Did you know that as well as being signed in Waitangi on 6 February 1840 the Treaty of Waitangi was also signed in other parts of Aotearoa throughout that year?
Ngā mihi ki a koutou katoa i tēnei wā COVID-19.
He pānui tēnei – ānei ngā rauemi ā-ipurangi mā koutou e kimi, mā koutou e tuku i ō koutou kāinga.
Usually our libraries commemorate the signing of Te Tiriti/Treaty of Waitangi in Te Whanganui-a-Tara/Wellington, 29 April 1840, through special events, displays, and the lending of relevant books or audio-visual material on the kaupapa of Te Tiriti.
Unfortunately our bricks and mortar libraries are currently closed due to the COVID-19 crisis. However our Māori Specialist Librarian, Ann Reweti, has put together a comprehensive selection of rauemi/resources about Te Tiriti and its signing in Te Whanganui-a-Tara in 1840. These can be accessed through our website or the internet and we are very pleased to provide online links in this special blog.
Lockdown is the perfect time to learn more about our local history and how modern day Wellington and New Zealand have been shaped by our unique past, and the relationships between mana whenua and the crown. Take some time to have a look at these wonderful resources – for a concise overview of history, places where treaty copies were signed, and lists of signatories to the treaties in each of eight locations – from the comfort of your own kāinga/home.
NZHistory.govt.nz – Treaty of Waitangi information includes the following topics: the Treaty in brief; English and te reo Māori texts; signings and locations of eight treaty documents; Tiriti timeline; biographies of Tiriti participants.
Te Ara – always presents a good New Zealand story for any discussion – and there are three video reconstructions around the the signing of Te Tiriti.
If like me you are curious about the world AND an information junkie who loves non-fiction with a strong narrative then this selection of documentary movies is for you. Without hesitation I can say that documentaries are my favourite genre of movie and the best will resonate in my mind for days, months, and years to come. Documentaries help us understand our natural and human world at the same time as entertaining and informing us. I will never forget the first time I saw Errol Morris’ The Thin Blue Line in 1989 and became aware of the power of documentary as compelling storytelling with a deeper social commentary. This personal selection below only touches the surface of the many amazing documentaries that can be found on Beamafilm and Kanopy, but I hope it provides a taste of the range and depth on offer.
I love this film. The gentle story of Herbert Vogel, a postal worker, and Dorothy Vogel, a librarian, who built an important contemporary art collection from their modest and fascinating one bedroom New York apartment is truly beautiful. Its exploration of what compelled Herb and Dorothy to start collecting Minimalist and Conceptual art, with very modest means, until they had one of the most important modern art collections contained in their one bedroom New York apartment is charming and insightful. A testament to art and Herb and Dorothy’s personalities and relationship, this is a documentary that I highly recommend.
Oxford Art Online: Learn more about Minimalist and Conceptual art with encyclopaedia-style articles on the visual arts, including more than 21,000 biographies of artists and craftsmen, and over 5,000 searchable art images, drawings and maps. Content covers painting, sculpture, graphic arts, architecture, photography and more.
Length: 74 minutes
Director: Jennifer Peedom
Wow! This visually stunning documentary about the lure of mountains for humans is breathtaking. Willem Dafoe has the perfect voice to narrate and the soundtrack is by the Australian Chamber Orchestra and includes works works by Chopin, Grieg, Vivaldi, and Beethoven. The grandeur of the mountains is matched by the majesty of the music and the story it tells is simple and beautiful. Why we climb and go into the wilderness, and the beauty of our world’s mountains, has never been shown in a more elegant and compelling way.
PressReader and RBdigital: Both PressReader and RBdigital provide online access to hundreds of magazines including many on mountaineering, tramping, photography and more. If you enjoyed Mountain, you will find more to whet your outdoors appetite here.
Length: 33 minutes
Director: Linda Booker
Although a short documentary, Straws packs a punch in its informative exploration of plastic pollution in our oceans. By showing how individuals, groups, and businesses around the globe are reducing plastic straw use through education, collaboration, policy development and utilisation of non-plastic alternatives, Straws helps us understand the impact of one plastic product on our environment. This optimistic and engaging documentary shows that small changes can make a difference.
Dancer is a fascinating character study of a virtuoso ballet dancer that demonstrates how wealth and success might not be enough to satisfy our quest for personal and professional identity. At 19, Ukrainian Sergei Polunin became the Royal Ballet’s youngest ever principal dancer. However after two years, and at the height of his success, Sergei resolved to stop dancing. Filled with amazing footage of classical and contemporary dance (including his viral performance to Hozier’s “Take Me to Church”), this is a beautiful and melancholic exploration of how growing from a child prodigy through to a successful artist does not guarantee happiness.
Naxos Video Library: If you love ballet, then this is for you: watch the world’s greatest opera houses, ballet companies, orchestras and artists perform on demand!
My kids grew up with Studio Ghibli movies and at 19 and 21 they still regularly watch and rewatch the magical films that have come out of the mind of Hayao Miyazaki and his team. The fantastical and beautiful animation of films such as Spirited Away, My Neighbour Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Howl’s Moving Castle are captivating and gorgeous. This beautiful documentary looks at how Miyazaki and Ghibli became successful and asks what could come next for these talented film makers. Recommended for anyone who has enjoyed a Studio Ghibli movie or loves animation.
Mango Languages: Have you ever wanted to watch and enjoy Studio Ghibli movies in their original Japanese? You can start learning Japanese today with Mango Languages–available through our website and FREE with your library card.
As well as General Non-Fiction, the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards have a special category for Illustrated Non-Fiction. The 2020 long list for this category, which has just been announced, includes magnificently illustrated books that both inform and entertain.
The Ockham short lists will be announced on 4 March, and the final prize winners will be presented with their awards on 12 May.
Check out the titles in the Illustrated Non-Fiction Award category long list!
Frances Hodgkins: European journeys
“This vivid and revealing book is published alongside a landmark exhibition focused on one of our most internationally recognized artists, Frances Hodgkins. Complete with a rich visual chronology of the artist’s encounters abroad, alongside over one hundred of Hodgkins’ key paintings and drawings, the book is an illuminating journey that moves us from place to place through the writings of a number of distinguished art historians, curators and critics.” (Adapted from our catalogue)
Funny as: the story of New Zealand comedy / Horan, Paul
“On TV, film, and live, New Zealand comedy has never been bigger. Published alongisde a major Television New Zealand documentary series, Funny As is a big, authoritative, funny history of New Zealand’s funny men and women. From capping bands to the Topp Twins, hori humour to Billy T James, Lynn of Tawa to Fred Dagg, New Zealanders have made each other laugh in ways distinctive to our peoples and our culture. In 400 pictures and a text built on deep research and over 100 interviews with comics, this book will be Funny As.” (Catalogue)
We are here: an atlas of Aotearoa / McDowall, Chris
“This compelling mix of charts, graphs, diagrams, maps and illustrations is beautiful, insightful, and enlightening. It helps us make sense of our country, to grasp its scale, diversity and intricacies, and to experience feelings of connection to land, to place, to this time in our history, and to one another. By making data visible, each graphic reveals insights: Who visits us? How many fish are in the sea? How do we hurt ourselves? Where do our cats go to at night? Essays by some of New Zealand’s best thinkers complete the package.” (Adapted from our catalogue)
Louise Henderson: from life
“This is the first major survey of the life and work of French-born, New Zealand artist Louise Henderson (1902-1994). Featuring work from across Henderson’s seven-decade career, the book and accompanying exhibition trace the development of the artist’s bold and colourful abstract style. Henderson worked alongside other major figures including Rita Angus, John Weeks, Colin McCahon and Milan Mrkusich and was one of the first New Zealand artists to commit herself to an overtly modern style.” (Adapted from our catalogue)
McCahon country / Paton, Justin
“In this landmark book, celebrated writer and curator Justin Paton takes readers on a journey through the landscape of Aotearoa, as the artist loved and painted it. From Otago to Canterbury, Takaka to Taranaki, Muriwai to Northland and many more places in between, Paton brings his curator’s eye to a selection of nearly 200 of McCahon’s paintings and drawings, including iconic and beloved works and others never before published.” (Adapted from our catalogue)
Colin McCahon: there is only one direction. Vol. I 1919-1959 / Simpson, Peter “In the first of a two-volume work chronicling 45 years of painting by New Zealand artist, Colin McCahon, leading McCahon scholar, writer, and curator Peter Simpson chronicles the evolution of McCahon’s work over the artist’s entire career. Each volume includes over 300 colour illustrations, with a selection of reproductions (many never previously published), plus photographs, catalogue covers, facsimiles and other illustrative material.” (Adapted from our catalogue)
The meaning of trees / Vennell, Robert
“This treasure of a book pays homage to New Zealand’s native plant species while telling the story of plants and people in Aotearoa. Beautifully illustrated with botanical drawings, paintings and photographs, it shows us how a globally unique flora has been used for food, medicine, shelter, spirituality and science. From Jurassic giants to botanical oddballs – these are our wonderful native and endemic plants.” (Adapted from our catalogue)
The 2020 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards long list has been announced and contains a myriad of marvelous books in the General Non-Fiction Award category. It is heartening to see such a fantastic list of true stories that are ours and that have enriched our lives and nation.
The short list will be announced on 4 March, and the final prize winners will be presented with their awards on 12 May.
Check out all the titles – we have them all in our libraries – in the General Non-Fiction Award category long list here:
Women mean business: colonial businesswomen in New Zealand / Bishop, Catherine
“From Kaitaia in Northland to Oban on Stewart Island, New Zealand’s nineteenth-century towns were full of entrepreneurial women. Then, as now, there was no typical businesswoman. They were middle and working class; young and old; Māori and Pākehā; single, married, widowed and sometimes bigamists. Their businesses could be wild successes or dismal failures, lasting just a few months or a lifetime.” (Adapted from our catalogue)
Dead people I have known / Carter, Shayne
“In Dead People I Have Known, legendary New Zealand musician Shayne Carter tells the story of a life in music, taking us deep behind the scenes and songs of his riotous teenage bands Bored Games and the Doublehappys and his best-known bands Straitjacket Fits and Dimmer. He traces an intimate history of the Dunedin Sound and his own life in a frank, moving, and often funny autobiography.” (Adapted from our catalogue)
Dead letters: censorship and subversion in New Zealand, 1914-1920 / Davidson, Jared
“Intimate and engaging, this dramatic narrative weaves together the personal and political, bringing to light the reality of wartime censorship. In an age of growing state power, new forms of surveillance and control, and fragility of the right to privacy and freedom of opinion, Dead Letters is a startling reminder that we have been here before.” (Adapted from our catalogue)
Shirley Smith: an examined life / Gaitanos, Sarah
“Shirley Smith was one of the most remarkable New Zealanders of the 20th century, a woman whose life-long commitment to social justice, legal reform, gender equality, and community service left a profound legacy. Her life was shaped by some of the most turbulent currents of the 20th century, and she in turn helped shape her country for the better.” (Adapted from our catalogue)
Wild honey: reading New Zealand women’s poetry / Green, Paula
“Highly regarded poet and anthologist Paula Green is the author of this much overdue survey of New Zealand’s women poets. The selection is generous, the tone is at times gentle and accessible, and Green’s reach is wide.” (Adapted from our catalogue)
Finding Frances Hodgkins / Kisler, Mary
“When Frances Hodgkins first left New Zealand in 1901, location became a key factor in her determination to succeed as an artist. In this engaging book, Mary Kisler follows in Hodgkins’ footsteps through England, France, Italy, Morocco, Spain and Wales to discover the locations in which Hodgkins constantly pushed her exploration of modernism. Warm, insightful, fresh, expert and richly illustrated with more than 70 artworks, this handsome book sheds new light on Hodgkins’ life, art and social milieu.” (Adpated from our catalogue)
The New Zealand Wars Ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa / O’Malley, Vincent
“Vincent O’Malley’s new book provides a highly accessible introduction to the causes, events and consequences of the New Zealand Wars. The text is supported by extensive full-colour illustrations as well as timelines, graphs and summary tables.” (Adapted from our catalogue)
Fifteen million years in Antarctica / Priestley, Rebecca
“Fifteen Million Years in Antarctica offers a deeply personal tour of a place in which a person can feel like an outsider in more ways than one. With generosity and candour, Priestley reflects on what Antarctica can tell us about Earth’s future and asks: do people even belong in this fragile, otherworldly place?” (Adapted from our catalogue)
Whale oil / Thomson, Margie
“The shocking, and completely true story of blogger Cameron Slater known as Whale Oil and his systematic online attack of Auckland businessman Matt Blomfield that destroyed Blomfield’s reputation and career and turned him into a social outcast. Blomfield spent seven years and hundreds of thousands of dollars taking a defamation case against Slater, which he ultimately won, establishing that Slater’s vendetta was based entirely on lies. This book is a remarkable piece of investigative writing, a story of courage and tenacity, which reminds us how important it is to stand up to bullies, and to be reassured that in the end they do not always win.” (Adapted from our catalogue)
A final flood of colours will live on
As my mind dies,
Burned by my vision of a world that shone
So brightly at the last, and then was gone — From Japanese Maple, Clive James, 2014
The author and broadcaster Clive James died on Sunday at the age of 80.
James had grown up in Sydney and left for Britain in the early 1960s where he found success as a poet, critic, essayist, and broadcaster. As a member of Footlights at Cambridge University James cultivated his persona as a ‘funny guy’ and part of his popularity stemmed from his ability to move between the high and low brow worlds of academia, literature, popular culture, television, and the cult of celebrity.
A prolific author, Clive James wrote gorgeous poetry, acerbic (and funny) criticism, and evocative memoirs. His descriptions of growing up in Sydney in the forties and fifties were wonderful evocations of the love an ex-pat has for the homeland that they ‘escaped’ in younger years.
After starting as a TV critic for The Observer in 1972, James had a television career with shows such as Clive James on Television. Always aware of popular culture he also wrote about the pleasures of binge-watching as box-sets and streaming became popular.
In the 21st century, James embraced the Internet and had his own web series, Clive James Talking in the Library, where he interviewed cultural figures such as Stephen Fry, Nick Hornby, and Michael Frayn:
James’s publisher and editor, Don Paterson, noted of him in The Independent today: “Any encounter [with him], either in print or in person, left you desperate to go and open a book, watch a film or a TV show, or hunt down a recording.”
We have a selection of books by Clive James in our collections that we encourage you to ‘hunt down’ and enjoy.
In his own words:
“If you don’t know the exact moment when the lights will go out, you might as well read until they do”
Poetry notebook : 2006-2014 / James, Clive
“Clive James is one of our finest critics and best-loved cultural voices. He is also a prize-winning poet. Since he was first enthralled by the mysterious power of poetry, he has been a dedicated student. In fact, for Clive, poetry has been nothing less than the occupation of a lifetime, and in this book he presents a distillation of all he’s learned about the art form that matters to him most.” (From our catalogue)
The blaze of obscurity / James, Clive
“Clive James on TV – and now in book form. Clive James will always be a TV presenter first and foremost, and a writer second – this despite the fact that his adventures with the written work took place before, during and after his time on the small screen. This book tells the inside story of his years in television.” (From our catalogue)
Cultural cohesion: the essential essays, 1968-2002 / James, Clive
“Following his much-heralded publication of Cultural Amnesia, Clive James presents here his “prequel”-forty-nine essays, which he has selected as representing the best of his half-century career. Cultural Cohesion examines the twisted cultural terrain of the twentieth century in a volume that is not only erudite but also endlessly entertaining. Dividing his book into four sections – “Poetry,” “Fiction and Literature,” “Culture and Criticism,” and ”Visual Images” – James comments on poets like W. H. Auden , novelists like Raymond Chandler, and filmmakers like Fellini .” (From our catalogue)
Latest readings / James, Clive
“In 2010, Clive James was diagnosed with terminal leukemia. Deciding that “if you don’t know the exact moment when the lights will go out, you might as well read until they do,” James moved his library to his house in Cambridge, where he would “live, read, and perhaps even write.” This volume contains his reflections on what may well be his last reading list. A look at some of his old favorites as well as some recent discoveries, this book also offers a revealing look at the author himself, sharing his evocative musings on literature and family, and on living and dying. This valediction to James’s lifelong engagement with the written word is a captivating valentine from one of the great literary minds of our time.” (Adapted from our catalogue)
Play all : a bingewatcher’s notebook / James, Clive
“Since serving as television columnist for the London Observer from 1972 to 1982, James has witnessed a radical change in content, format, and programming, and in the very manner in which TV is watched. Here he examines this unique cultural revolution, providing a brilliant, eminently entertaining analysis of many of the medium’s most notable twenty-first-century accomplishments and their not always subtle impact on modern society–including such acclaimed serial dramas as Breaking Bad, and The Sopranos. With intelligence and wit, James explores a television landscape expanded by cable and broadband and profoundly altered by the advent of Netflix, Amazon, and other “cord-cutting” platforms that have helped to usher in a golden age of unabashed binge-watching.” (Adapted from our catalogue)
Somewhere Becoming Rain: Collected Writings On Philip Larkin / James, Clive
“This book gathers all of James’s writing on this towering literary figure, together with material now published for the first time. James writes about Larkin’s poems, his novels, his jazz and literary criticism; he also considers the two major biographies, Larkin’s letters and even his portrayal on stage in order to chart the extreme and, he argues, largely misguided equivocations about Larkin’s reputation in the years since his death. Through this joyous and perceptive book, Larkin’s genius is delineated and celebrated. James argues that Larkin’s poems, adored by discriminating readers for over half a century, could only have been the product of his reticent, diffident, flawed, and all-too-human personality. Erudite and entertaining in equal measure, Somewhere Becoming Rain is a love letter from one of the world’s best living writers to one of its most cherished poets.” (Adapted from our catalogue)