Reader Recommendations - July 2022

Published on 19 July 2022

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Lyn's Review 

Landfall 242

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Landfall is New Zealand's foremost and longest-running arts and literary journal. Here's Lyn's thoughts on the current issue:

"As usual, this issue was an absolute masterpiece of literary achievements, although, I must confess, that I was not really drawn (ha ha, see what I did there?) to the illustrations. Maybe, I am simply not, as my cousin said, when gifting me Emma Neale’s The Pink Jumpsuit, intellectual enough?

This time, it was the poems that most of all struck a chord with me, especially those with a focus on death, loss and mourning. Ruth Arnison’s poem, “Winter Calls,” is the standout piece for me. The narrator describes a visit to a dying friend or relative where they “conversed in the present tense.” Later, she walks through the Botanic Garden, as I have too so many times, “kicking autumn skywards.” She knows, as do the birds, that “winter calls,”

Then there is “Crematorium” by Megan Kitching in which she plays on both the sounds and look of the word, “the rounded o to the i come to rest at the end, the em, the um” I recall standing in the crematorium carpark in Christchurch ready, but never ready, for my son’s funeral, the ending, the beginning, the beginning of the end. The um of it all...what happened and what to do now and the cross, white and stark against a startling blue sky, the shadowed dark blue hearse in the background, the foreground of it all.   Jenna Heller outlines grief in her list poem, “Kintsukuroi” and the mess of it all.

One of the short stories that I enjoyed in this issue include Diane Comer’s “Son, Sword, Chocolate” as the narrator’s son talks incessantly while she drives him through town, just as my son, just a few years ago, did the same. Sometimes, although he is almost 21 years old, he still does. Soccer. Soccer. Soccer."