You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Guardian of the Dead’ tag.

Karen Healey

Allen and Unwin (2010)

ISBN: 9781741758801

Reviewed by Tansy Rayner Robers, May 2010

I’ve been following Healey’s blog for the last couple of months, and was particularly caught by her post about the importance of New Zealand as the setting of her debut novel, Guardian of the Dead. The post came out of her frustration that overseas readers were referring to her and her book as Australian.

I read the book with this in mind, and I have to say that my first reaction was one big ‘what are you people, high?’ I can see why Healey was so outraged, as the book is not just rich in detail about its New Zealand setting, but the plot itself turns on the mythology and experience of that country.

The second thing that occurred to me was… wow. I really know almost nothing about New Zealand. And I mean nothing. Guardian of the Dead paints such a detailed picture of New Zealand culture, mythology and how they blend into the lives of modern New Zealanders, and… I’ve never seen this before. My entire pop culture experience of New Zealand consists of Hercules, Xena, Lord of the Rings, a couple of Margaret Mahy novels and that Worzel Gummidge series. I can’t help feeling deeply ashamed that this is a country so very close to my own, with so many overlapping ties, and I’ll bet there aren’t many 32 year old New Zealanders who don’t have a far more comprehensive understanding of Australia, our popular culture, and what it might be like to live here.

Read the rest of this entry »

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.