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  • Published: 30 May 2016
  • ISBN: 9780143573807
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $29.99

Let the River Stand (Penguin Award Winning Classics)




A New Zealand classic, Let the River Stand won the Montana Book Awards in 1994.

A New Zealand classic, Let the River Stand won the Montana Book Awards in 1994.

In the deceptively quiet Waikato of the 1930s and 1940s, a number of lives connect in a complex web of family ties, desire and violence. The events of this story also take in boxing, farming, devotion and perversion, ranging as far as Tasmania and the Spanish Civil War. Alex, tall and solitary, striding through this novel . . . Barbara, his first love . . . Bet, strong and unobtrusive . . . And the enigmatic man in the balaclava.

'No New Zealand novel has conveyed more completely a sense of history and of those visionary moments that resist its flow.' — The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Literature

  • Published: 30 May 2016
  • ISBN: 9780143573807
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $29.99

About the author

Vincent O'Sullivan

Vincent O’Sullivan is an editor, poet, short story writer, novelist, playwright, essayist, academic and critic and has served as literary editor to the New Zealand Listener. Among other residencies and fellowships, O’Sullivan has held the Katherine Mansfield Memorial Fellowship in Menton, France, and has won numerous literary prizes throughout his distinguished career, including several Montana Book Awards. In 2000, he was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. He is a graduate of the University of Auckland and Oxford University, and has lectured at Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Waikato. In 1997, he became Director of Victoria University’s Stout Research Centre, and is now Emeritus Professor of English. In 2004 he was awarded the Creative New Zealand Michael King Writer’s Fellowship, and in 2006 he received the Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement.

Known for his powerful intellect, and the broad range of his writing, O’Sullivan has also earned international acclaim as the joint editor, with Margaret Scott, of the five-volume Letters of Katherine Mansfield.

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Praise for Let the River Stand (Penguin Award Winning Classics)

'A novel that is sure to take a place of honour on the nation's bookshelves.' — Paul R. Bushnell, The Press

PRH, PRH

'A complex and adsorbing novel about the heartland' — Mark Houlahan, Waikato Times

PRH, PRH

'A novel with epic qualities' — Graeme Lay, North and South

PRH, PRH

'Challenging and intriguing' — Brain Edwards

PRH, PRH

'An exceptionally rich and unsentimental study of courage and enduring love, as well has a splendidly authentic reconstruction of rural life in the 1930s, Let the River Stand is destined, I suspect, to become a New Zealand classic taught with reverence in schools and universities.' — Iain Sharp, Sunday Star

PRH, PRH

'A fiercely felt novel of obligation and loyalty . . . a novel that deserves readership and acclaim.' — Peter Payne, Nelson Evening Mail

PRH, PRH

'O'Sullivan belongs up there with Marshall as one of the great continuators of the New Zealand realist story.' — Lawrence Jones, Evening Post

PRH, PRH

'A cleverly constructed novel . . . and exciting one . . . a puzzling one which leads the reader on to try to find out what is behind the various events . . . marvellously written . . . and based on shrewd understanding of character and personality.' — W. J. McEldowney, Otago Daily Times

PRH, PRH

'A superbly delivered story' — Elizabeth Caffin, Quote Unquote

PRH, PRH

'No New Zealand novel has conveyed more completely a sense of history and of those visionary moments that resist its flow.' — The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Literature

PRH, PRH

'Let the River Stand has been acclaimed for the sustained excellence of the writing, its perceptive characterization, and its teasing, jigsaw structure. Ostensibly a historical, social-realist fiction of rural New Zealand society between the 1920s and 1950s, it moves from Waikato during the Depression to Tasmania and Spain with a complex narrative structure that has been compared to the work of James Joyce. Images resonate with exacting observations of events, places, and people to evoke feelings and memories that are layered with meaning over time and which invite symbolic interpretation. Through his hero, Alex McLeod, O'Sullivan revisits the masculine world of his short stories and verse, and through the mind of Collins/Schwarz, a failed boxer turned pig-raiser, he investigates the bleakly limited world of the besieged, marginal man. - F.W. Nielsen Wright, Two Wellington Poets: W.H. Oliver and Vincent O'Sullivan: A Critique

PRH, PRH

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