Happy 50th birthday Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!

2014 is the 50th anniversary of the first publication of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - can you believe it?! If Charlie Bucket continued aging, he would be at least 60 by now, and the Chocolate Factory would look very different after the unionisation of the Oompa Loompas. September 13 was Roald's birthday and is now celebrated world-wide as Roald…
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What’s for pudding, Mum?

I love dessert! Sweet, delicious dessert! Chocolate raspberry torte... New York cheesecake... spiced pumpkin crème brûlée... even good old rice pudding -- I love them all! Dessert is my favourite thing about going out for dinner, but somehow the fates (usually in the form of fractious children) always seem to conspire against me. On the rare occasions that we do go out, more…
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Remembering ANZAC: WORD Christchurch

Photographer Laurence Aberhart's latest work is ANZAC, a collection of 70 photographs of NZ and Australian war memorials. Laurence, Jock Phillips (who wrote the introduction to ANZAC) and Christchurch Art Gallery director Jenny Harper discussed the evolving relationship between the community and its war memorials, the changing attitudes to the memorials between the First and Second World Wars and individual monuments and sculptors as part…
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Read it again! WORD Christchurch

The youngest readers weren't forgotten in the WORD Christchurch festivities. On Saturday afternoon Read It Again! let five picture-book authors share their creations with an eager audience of three to eight year olds. Sheila Sinclair of Christchurch-institution The Children's Bookshop chaired the session. Melinda Szymanik read the NZ Post Children's Choice award winner for 2009, The were-nana. Little sisters in the…
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The Secret Diary of The Civilian: WORD Christchurch

"The Civilian is not a force for good." Ben Uffindell, founder of The Civilian website, was very clear in his discussion with Steve Braunias that The Civilian isn't trying to push an agenda or change the world. Steve introduced Ben as a "much loathed and somewhat loved enfant" to a crowd of WORD Christchurch attendees on Saturday night. Steve talked about his…
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Beyond The Veil: Historical Ghost Stories – WORD Christchurch

Was anyone else frustrated that the ghost was always really just the Janitor in Scooby-Doo? Diane Setterfield, author of gothic suspense books The Thirteenth Tale and Bellman & Black was. Today in her own writing she feels that she is doing injustice to real human experience if she explains all the spooky stuff away in the end. Diane, Rosetta Allan…
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Happy Birthday, Janet: WORD Christchurch

August 28 2014 marked the 90th anniversary of the birth of one of New Zealand's most celebrated authors (so far) Janet Frame. As part of WORD Christchurch, Bernadette Hall, Owen Marshall, Tusiata Avia and Janet Frame’s niece and literary executor, Pamela Gordon discussed her work and influence. Owen Marshall said that although he met Janet Frame three times, the thing that most closely aligned…
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