Mansfield with Monsters by Katherine Mansfield with Matt and Debbie Cowens reviewby David Larsen
Against all expectations, <em>Mansfield with Monsters</em> proves to be grand fun.
The Cowens tweak Mansfield’s stories the absolute minimum amount required to transform them into HP Lovecraftian horrors. (It’s less than you’d think.) They bring a wicked sense of humour and a keen editorial ear to the project; I ended up reading their versions with the originals open beside me, so I could track down each individual alteration. Because you never know what the fantasy element in a given story will be, you have to treat each metaphor as a potential literal statement. The uncertainty transforms the reading experience delightfully: the girl described as a butterfl y in The Garden Party might actually have wings. She doesn’t, it transpires, but ravenous giant insects feature. Everyone is very matter of fact about them. More from the Cowens, please.
MANSFIELD WITH MONSTERS: THE UNTOLD STORIES OF A NEW ZEALAND ICON, by Katherine Mansfield with Matt and Debbie Cowens (Steam Press, $25).
David Larsen is a writer and Listener film reviewer
Ian McEwan’s tale of human-robot love links emotional and artificial intelligence in intriguing ways, writes Charlotte Grimshaw.Read more
The chemical residues on fruit and vegetables are not dangerous, but rinsing is still advisable.Read more
A three-month trial at Christchurch Hospital saw remarkable results.Read more
Until recently, the Auckland War Memorial Museum’s buildings were highly dysfunctional, says John Glen, the museum’s head of building infrastructure.Read more
More than 230 tonnes of plastic including straws, bags and toothbrushes found on Australian islands.Read more
Violent extremists are often depicted as “lone wolves”. But this belies the broader psychological, social and digital contexts in which they act.Read more
Seeing an NZ flag flying at a neo-fascist rally in Germany prompted David Hall to ask why violent radicalisation was affecting even his fellow Kiwis.Read more