The Reluctant Pirate

October 28, 2009

Amos Bunberry is a pirate in training, but a relucant one.

He’s trying pirate life because his mother said he had to. But he’s not enjoying it until he meets Griselda and her gang of forward thinking pirates.

This is a quirky tale in which brains beat brawn.

The author is Pauline Cartwright. Her word plays and jokes are enhanced by Marg Hamilton’s illustrations.

The book was a finalist in the 1994 Aim Book Awards.

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Post 28 in the post a day for New Zealand Book Month challenge

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over at In A Strange Land Deborah posts on Down the Back of the Chair by Margaret Mahy, illustrated by Polly Dunbar.


Katherine Mansfield Society formed

January 27, 2009

When I was at school and university English literature referred not just to the language but the country of origin because most of what we studied came from England.

There was nothing to stop me reading further afield myself however but in spite of that my discovery of the delights of Katherine Mansfield has been relatively recent and I’m ashamed to say still fairly shallow.

While I’m confessing I might as well admit that I’m not even sure where my favourite Mansfield quote comes from because I found it not in a book but a Marg Hamilton painting:

”It was one of those days so clear, so still, so silent you almost feel the earth itself has stopped in astonishment at its own beauty.”

 

painting

 

However, there is a new medium to increase both my knowledge and appreciation of the writer and her work – the newly created international Katherine Mansfield Society.

 

Society president, Emeritus Professor Vincent O’Sullivan, said in a press release the society has been set up to promote and encourage enjoyment of Mansfield’s writing which influenced a fundamental shift in the way stories are told.

“Katherine Mansfield’s influence is still being felt by writers and readers today, and we want to ensure this recognition continues. She is New Zealand’s greatest writer, and ironically there’s the likelihood of her becoming better known overseas than she is at home.”

To that end, he says, while the society is international, with people from England, Ireland, Australia, France and the United States involved in its creation, there is a strong New Zealand focus, and it is incorporated as a charitable trust in New Zealand.

 

“The Society will work to ensure Katherine Mansfield is on school and university curricula in New Zealand and overseas and aims to establish a Mansfield memorial in her home town of Wellington.

 

“We will also be creating a biennial Katherine Mansfield Society literary scholarship – a Rhodes scholarship for literature as it were – for work in the modernist sphere.”

 

The Society’s founders comprise Mansfield scholars from around the world: Emeritus Professor Angela Smith (UK), Emeritus Professor C. K. Stead (NZ), Dr Sarah Sandley (NZ), Dr Gerri Kimber (UK), Dr Sue Reid (UK), Dr Josiane Paccaud-Huguet (France), Janna Stotz (USA), Dr Melinda Harvey (Australia), Dr Anna Jackson (NZ), Dr Delia Da Sousa Correa (UK), Dr Jenny McDonnell (Ireland),  Dr Sarah Ailwood (Australia), Professor Larry Mitchell (USA) and Professor Janet Wilson (UK).

 

Details of the society, including how to become a member, can be found on the Katherine Mansfield Society website.


Two of those days

July 7, 2008

Katherine Mansfield said it so much better than I could: It was one of those days, so clear, so still, so silent you almost feel the earth itself has stopped in astonishment at its own beauty.

I’m not sure if I’ve got that word perfect, though I ought to have because it’s on a Marg Hamilton painting which hangs on our living room wall. But that’s at home while I’m in Wanaka and in awe of the scenery which brought the quote to mind.

We’ve had not one but two of those days. Yesterday we drove tup the Waitaki Valley and through the Lindis Pass, which no matter its mood is beautiful.

In Wanaka we called on friends whose living room window frames the view straight up the lake to the mountains, scenery so stunning it makes you wonder why you’d ever bother to go anywhere else.

Today we left Wanaka by starlight to go to Southland. Our route took us down via Alexandra to Ettrick then south through West Otago to Gore. The views there may not be as awe inspiring as the ones round Wanaka, but there is beauty in those gently rolling, bright green paddocks.

We did a whistle-stop tour of farms at Otahutit, Riverton and Dipton before turning north again up SH6 which follows Lake Wakatipu from Kingston to Frankton. We were treated to many more Mansfield moments as the late afternoon sun spot-lit snow clad hills and reflected them back on the water.

Tussocks poked cheeky heads through the snow as we climbed up the Crown Range then down through the Cardrona Valley and back to Wanaka to marvel again at the breathtaking combination of mountains, snow and lake in the sunset.

Two of those days, and the clear, starry sky is promising a third tomorrow.


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