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A fascinating and frequently ripe brew of quotations on New Zealand or from New Zealanders, Strong Language holds a mirror up to our national culture and identity. Sacred, profane, witty, big-hearted, perceptive, hilarious, wise; all are words that could apply to the hundreds of quotations lifted from the popular press, television and contemporary media over the last half century, with particular emphasis on the last couple of decades. Rob Muldoon, David Lange, Helen Clark, Jonah Lomu, Doug Howlett, Chris Laidlaw, Janet Frame, J.K. Baxter, Bob Jones, Bernard Freyberg, Joe Bennett, Steve Braunias - these are just a few of the many who feature in Strong Language.
Jim Weir is a former New Zealand ambassador to Moscow, Rome, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, and is the author of Letters from Moscow, an account of his time in Russia. He compiled a first book of quotations titled New Zealand Wit & Wisdom, published by Tandem Press in 1998. (Strong Language is a new collection.) He lives in Karori, Wellington.