In our general twittering excitement, we got especially excited about the #lesserbooks twitter trend – the invention of titles like Dr Perhaps, Tale of One City, Captain Corelli’s Ukulele. In fact, we got so excited we asked if twitterers could devise suggestions for well-known NZ books, and started with a couple of suggestions of our own: Drizzle, by Kirsty Gunn, and Somebody Quite Likes Us All, by Damien Wilkins.The background is here.
Given New Zealanders’ expertise in self-deprecation, it’s probably no surprise that we turned out to be pretty good at the lesserbooks game. The trend, as they say, trended. Some of our favourites from a great list of titles:
Came a Mild Tuesday
A Good Keen Flan
Owls Do Fly
Once Were Worriers
100 Traditional Piles
An Anglepoise at My Table
The Cartilage People
I had trouble searching Twitter for the rest of the NZ entries but I did find Fergus Barrowman’s excellent Collected Poem. So these modest proposals below may be repeats:
Most Visitors Ashore and Four for the Symbol, CK Stead,
One Night Out Borrowing and Once Were Corporals, Alan Duff
Hum to Me, Dreamer and The Betrothal at Bueno-Vista, Shonagh Koea
The Quartermen of O, Maurice Gee
The Glums, Damien Wilkins
Month of the Jew, Maurice Shadbolt
The Heart’s Mild Surf, Stephanie Johnson
The Denniston Daisy, Jenny Pattrick
Stand in the Shower, Jean Watson
Swimming to New Zealand, Lloyd Jones
In other lit news, Bill Manhire’s delightful 1988 hypertext novel The Brain of Katherine Mansfield is a website and has been for some time. Well, no one told me. Go here to start reading, and here for some background info. Why am I not surprised that Jolisa Gracewood was involved?
Speaking of matters Manhire, he has reviewed for Poetry London the new James K. Baxter Selected Poems, edited by Paul Millar and published in/for the UK by Carcanet. Written for English readers who probably are unfamiliar with Baxter, it is an excellent brief survey of his life and work, and as clear-sighted an appreciation of both as one could hope for.