By Zsuzsi Gartner
Even if she takes on evolution and smooth manhood, overseas adoption, genuine property, the motion picture undefined, technological know-how and religion, artwork, or terrorism, Gartner fillets the righteous and the ridiculous with dexterity in equivalent, heartbreaking, and wonderful measure.
Angels crash land, fanatics communicate IKEA, a mountain swallows tony West Coast homes, and a killer stalks the good motivational audio system of North America.
These tales ruthlessly disclose our covert fears and fathomless wishes and make allowance us to laugh with laughter—while grieving on the gruesome global we’d stay in if all of us bought what we would have liked.
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Additional resources for Better Living Through Plastic Explosives
McLeod fulminates against his enemies, including the orthodox church and the women who are seduced by its allure: “They are pawns in the Church of Scotland’s grr-aand designs. De-signs, and stup-id women who put their noses into the business of men. For, yes Lord, it is known indeed that it is women, and especially Mrs. McKay, from the Edinburgh Bible Society, who are behind all of this, despatching witless young men to do their duty in the colonies, yes, and unsettling and dismaying the whole community of men who live on this island, with the exceptions of ourselves, my good friends, and now let us pray, saying, Our Father .
Behind the novel’s formal organization lies Ihimaera’s need to show how the wholeness, connection, and meaning he finds at the heart of traditional life were subsumed under the brokenness, alienation, and loss that have permeated and shaped Maori life since colonisation, and especially since the drift to the cities. (Williams 118–119) In the early stories, Ihimaera used a metaphor, the idea of the Emerald City and the Yellow-Brick Road of the Oz books, to think about his Maori characters moving from the farms to the cities in the 1950s.
These boundaries and the stories attached to their making, would be memorised. In this way, the entire land was like a living geography text and history book in one. The minutiae of life, ah yes, all imprinted and still living, inscribed on the land. And to ensure the continuity of the tribal memory, the people would traverse the land from time to time and from generation to generation. (102–103) So The Matriarch is a “living geography text and history book in one” to find and describe the boundaries of one Maori family and all Maori CH1 Page 31 Wednesday, October 10, 2001 4:33 PM Where on Earth Is Aotearoa?