One of the nice things about writing for a webpage is that one can draw attention to works such as essays, that have received a small audience, but which might be of more general interest. It is in this spirit that I have decided to include a few of the essays that I have written over the years.
This first essay, was written for a book called East by South which looked at the ways in which Southern hemisphere countries such as Australia and New Zealand had interacted with countries broadly described as ‘the East’, these being represented by powerful cultures such as China, India, Japan, Indonesia etc. There were many contributers who approached the topic from a variety of points of view.
Although I wrote The Eye of the Queen while I was working in China, I was unaware of the extent to which my experience of that country had influenced the story. But then a friend, who also knew China, pointed out some of the moments in the book which struck them as being “quite Chinese”. That intrigued me, and for the first time in twenty years re read the book – and yes, I could see what he meant! My essay – albeit written in a light-hearted manner – attempts to look at this influence in terms of language, food and, to a limited extent, philosophy.
You can test the flavour of The Eye of the Queen for yourself as I have added the first couple of chapters to the Books page.
This was written for a special book created to celebrate the birthday of one of New Zealand’s foremost writers. It deals with the evolution of the play from first text to first performance, and some of the strange things that occurred.
And now for something quite different. The Crop Circles that keep appearing in England (and other places) every summer, are controvertial to say the least. This is what happened to me when I visited a rather magnificent formation – The Swallows of Alton Priors – in 2008. I fell asleep in one corner and … Well you can read for yourself.
Some politics. Why not? When it was printed in New Zealand Books in 1991, this short parable, caused some controversy. I wrote it in somewhat of a Brechtian manner. Reading it again after so many years, I think the points made are still valid and certainly worthy of discussion.
This page has the following sub pages.