James Courage Diaries, edited by Chris Brickell (Otago University Press, 2021), 416pp, $45
James Courage’s name may be little known to younger generations today, but in 1955 he was hailed as ‘the best living New Zealand novelist’. Seven years later, the importation of his novel about a homosexual love affair, A Way of Love, was notoriously banned by New Zealand Customs.
Courage kept a diary for some forty-three years, starting in 1920 when he was sixteen, and in this book, editor Chris Brickell reproduces almost a quarter of his diaries’ estimated 400,000 words. In his very useful Introduction, Brickell states that he has excluded ‘some long transcriptions of other authors’ writing—pieces of novels and poetry—which Courage often copied into his own diaries’. [Read more…]