Warfare, Both At Home And Abroad, Has Shaped The Way New Zealand Defines Itself Through Camaraderie And Courage, Patriotism And Politics, Identity And Nationhood Soldiers Writing From The Front, Journalists On The Ground, Biographers Examining The Lives Of Key Figures, Poets, Novelists And Playwrights Reflecting On The Experience Of Combat These Have All Helped To Form The Way We Think About War And So The Way We Think About OurselvesThe Penguin Book Of New Zealand War Writing Presents A Rich Interplay Of Writing About Our Country S Many Military Engagements It Features Creative Responses To Conflict, Such As A Waiata Written About An Inter Tribal Skirmish, Short Stories On The World Wars, Extracts From Plays And Novels Set In Such Campaigns As Chunuk Bair And Vietnam, And Works By Various Poets, Including James K Baxter, Eileen Duggan, Denis Glover, Allen Curnow And Robert Sullivan There Are Vivid Accounts By Journalists Reporting Home As Well As By Soldiers Recalling Their Experiences In The Trenches, The Desert Or In The Air Rounding Out This Fascinating Collection Are Thoughtful Retrospective Commentaries On The Impact Of Wars From Precolonial Times Up To Afghanistan Lots of reasons to love this book, even if you are not a great fan of war stories.I saw Harry Ricketts at the Tauranga Arts Festival at the weekend and heard him discussing some interesting points from the First World War, but this book is far, far bigger than just the First War It is that scope that makes it so interesting We start with some of the conflicts from both James Cook s voyages to New Zealand and then move to the Land Wars with the Maori Incredible descriptions of the troops trying to escape through the bush pursued by savage warriors Stories that left deep impression were the terror of attacks on early houses and homesteads, those old, old buildings we still see scattered around the country but whose early history was such a fragile one.There are plenty of poets in here, and some good enough to hold up against the Wilfred Owens on WW1, as Ricketts pointed out in his talk There is also a nice mix of the contemporary writers covering a period well back in the past, a modern take on old stories.There are plenty of snippets to surprise you, such as the stories of escape through Greece or Eastern Europe, and even of the threat to the New Zealand navy from torpedo boats in the first days of the Vietnam war When asking the survivors whom they plucked from the water why they didn t use their torpedo, they simply said that the Russians who has supplied the boats were not due to show them how to use the deadly weapons until the following week.Read the book right the way through, because right at the end are some amazing pieces which help to put the whole set of war stories into a different perspective The modern day story of one army officer and his struggle to readapt to life back home after a tour of duty in Angola, for me really helps to illustrate just what a struggle thousands of men and women had before him but probably got none of the help or understanding that this man did We didn t even have a name for post traumatic stress disorder back then One earlier story from after the Second War show some of the issue as a returning soldier struggles to get to know a son he had hardly met and who has had nothing but the undivided attention of his mother for the last few years Both son and father struggle with sharing the same wife and mother.A great collection, something to both dip into and to learn from the contrasts when read as a whole. An excellent book on New Zealand war writing A wonderful, thoughtfully curated collection that takes us through New Zealand s history.
Harry Ricketts studied to Oxford and taught at universities in Hong Kong and the UK before moving to New Zealand in 1981 He is a professor in the English Programme at Victoria University of Wellington and also teaches creative non fiction in the International Institute of Modern Letters He has published over 30 books, including biographies, personal essays and collections of poems He has also c
- 528 pages
- The Penguin Book of New Zealand War Writing
- Harry Ricketts
- 09 May 2019 Harry Ricketts