We’d like to pay homage to one of the great New Zealand authors, Keri Hulme, who passed away this December. She was the first New Zealand author to win the Booker prize in 1985, for The Bone People.
Hulme’s manuscript of The Bone People was turned down by many publishers, who may have been confronted by the “unconventional” novel; however, the literary masterpiece was finally accepted and published by a small New Zealand feminist publishing house, Spiral Collective in 1984, and the rest is history.
Hulme’s ability to bring the tradition of Ngāi Tahu storytelling to the world paved the way for New Zealand authors; she will never be forgotten both by fans of her works and the many authors she inspired.
Kerewin, a despairing part-Maori artist is convinced that her solitary life is the only way to face the world. Her cocoon is rudely blown away by the sudden arrival during a rainstorm of Simon, a mute six-year-old whose past seems to hold some terrible trauma. In his wake comes his foster-father Joe, a Maori factory worker with a nasty temper. The narrative unravels to reveal the truths that lie behind these three characters, and in so doing displays itself as a huge, ambitious work that tackles the clash between Maori and European characters in beautiful prose of a heartrending poignancy.
The second collection of the author’s short stories and poems.
Visit our catalogue here to see our entire Keri Hulme collection.
Other New Zealand fiction writers you may like to explore:
- Portrait of Keri Hulme by Sarah Laing via https://sarahelaing.com/2013/01/30/the-south-islanders/ Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)
- Photo of Okarito, "Okarito, home of Keri Hulme" by Archives New Zealand is licensed under CC BY 2.0