Time to Honor Elegance

In 1999, a very special woman took a chance on me. She bet on me when she could have placed her chips on anyone else; saw something in me that – at 23 – I had yet to see in myself. And here’s the thing, this week I’ve discovered just how many other people she has believed in – cultivated, loved, nurtured and set free into the world. I think it is time she is recognized for all she has done for the New Zealand fashion industry.  Continue reading

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Book Review: The Most Dangerous Animal of All: Searching for my Father and Finding The Zodiac Killer

The Most Dangerous Animal of All: Searching for my Father and Finding The Zodiac Killer by Gary L. Stewart with Susan Mustafa. Harper Collins, New York, 2014.

The MOst Dangerous animal

I dedicate this review to my grandparents, Jean and Colin Barley. Thank you.

I don’t know enough about the Zodiac Killer case to judge whether Stewart’s findings are plausible. It doesn’t really matter. The timeliness of reading this book, for me, was the connection I felt with Stewart’s relentless drive to uncover his roots. Like many adopted people (including, I think, my father) Stewart has a happy life; but something is missing. There is no genetic frame within which to place himself in space and time.

Gary L. Stewart, I get it. I get how addictive and all-encompassing the search can be. I know because I’ve been there.
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Book Review: My Beautiful Friend by Elena Ferrante

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, translation by Ann Goldstein, Europa, 2012, NY.

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, translation by Ann Goldstein, Europa, 2012, NY.

The world is a profound and unchartered place when you’re a young teenager. Relationships are difficult to navigate and you move like a changing and persistent breeze underneath your own front door, trying to find a way – any way – into the hallways of who you are and of friendship. Somehow, Elena Ferrante has captured this elusive breeze and painted a picture of Elena and Lila’s friendship that is so real you’d swear you were inside Elena’s mind. Ferrante allows Elena to hold nothing back, not even the darkness of her self-doubt and jealousy. At times I felt I was leaning against the wall, glass against ear, cheeks blushing with the closeness of it all.  Continue reading