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  • Published: 4 May 2021
  • ISBN: 9780143775614
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $39.99

From the Centre

A Writer's Life




The remarkable memoirs of a remarkable writer

With photographs and quotes from her many, hugely loved books, Patricia Grace begins with her grandparents and parents and takes us through her childhood, her education, marriage and up to the present day in this touching and self-deprecating story of her life, the life of a writer, of a Maori woman and of a teacher. It expresses the love for family and for ancestral land; shows the prejudices she had to face and that made her stronger; and tracks her career as a writer.

‘We live by the sea, which hems and stitches the scalloped edges of the land.’

Renowned writer Patricia Grace begins her remarkable memoirs beside her beloved Hongoeka Bay. It is the place she has returned to throughout her life, and fought for, one of many battles she has faced:


‘It was when I first went to school that I found out that I was a Maori girl . . . I found that being different meant that I could be blamed . . .’


As she shows, her experiences — good and bad, joyous and insightful — have fuelled what became a focus of her life:


I had made up my mind that writing was something I would always do.’

  • Published: 4 May 2021
  • ISBN: 9780143775614
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $39.99

About the author

Patricia Grace

Patricia Grace is one of New Zealand’s most prominent and celebrated Maori fiction authors and a figurehead of modern New Zealand literature. She garnered initial acclaim in the 1970s with her collection of short stories entitled Waiariki (1975) — the first published book by a Maori woman in New Zealand. She has published six novels and seven short story collections, as well as a number of books for children and a work of non-fiction. She won the New Zealand Book Award for Fiction for Potiki in 1987, and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2001 with Dogside Story, which also won the 2001 Kiriyama Pacific Rim Fiction Prize. Her children’s story The Kuia and the Spider won the New Zealand Picture Book of the Year in 1982.

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