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This is the first volume of Witi Ihimaera's enthralling, award-winning memoir, packed with stories from the formative years of this much-loved writer.

This is the first volume of Witi Ihimaera's enthralling, award-winning memoir, packed with stories from the formative years of this much-loved writer.

Witi Ihimaera is a consummate storyteller — one critic calling him one of our ‘finest and most memorable’. Some of his best stories, however, are about his own life. This honest, stirring work tells of the family and community into which Ihimaera was born, of his early life in rural New Zealand, of family secrets, of facing anguish and challenges, and of laughter and love. As Ihimaera recounts the myths that formed his early imagination, he also reveals the experiences from real life that wriggled into his fiction.

Alive with an inventive, stimulating narrative and vividly portrayed relatives, this memoir is engrossing, entertaining and moving, but, more than this, it is also a vital record of what it means to grow up Maori.


Winner of the Ockham New Zealand Book Award 2016 for the General Non Fiction category.

Reviews

. . . a rich, powerful, multi-layered and totally unique story that leaves us with such a strong sense of what it means firstly to be Maori; and secondly, to be Maori growing up in a Pakeha world. For this reason, it is something every New Zealander should read. What comes through is a strong sense of identity and to know Witi is to know his whakapapa and also our country.

Gisborne Herald

I loved this book. The ancestors and the no-so-distant relations, and the immediate family members are all brought to vivid life by this master of storytelling. Witi Ihimaera has created an amazing work . . . The story of his whanau and the challenges, anguish, love and pain that they experienced are written about in such a way as to make you stop and think. Seriously. And for quite a long time. . . . This is a wonderful skill – to be able to give life to figures long dead, and Witi Ihimaera has it in spades. . . . We can depend on Witi Ihimaera to write about life, love, history, tipuna, turangawaewae and more in a way that all New Zealanders, Maori or Pakeha, can identify with, rejoice in and share.

Sue Esterman, booksellersnz.wordpress

In both its content and its form the book provides a rare experience of a culture that the Anglo-American literary tradition does not know. As a bonus, it offers to anyone who knows Ihimaera's fiction the pleasure of recognising characters, motifs and even entire scenes that appear in such novels as The Matriarch, The Dream Swimmer, The Uncle's Story, Bulibasha and The Whale Rider, and in some short stories.

Lawrence Jones, Otago Daily Times

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Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9781869797263

    December 15, 2014

    RHNZ Vintage

    384 pages

    RRP $39.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781869797270

    November 17, 2014

    RHNZ Adult ebooks

    400 pages

    RRP $39.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • iBooks
    • Kobo
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

News
Witi Ihimaera Wins at Ockham New Zealand Book Awards

Witi Ihimaera's Maori Boy takes out the General Non-Fiction Category at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards

Also by Witi Ihimaera

Sleeps Standing
Black Marks on the White Page
Bulibasha Film Tie-In
Matriarch
White Lies
I've Been Thinking About You, Sister
The Thrill of Falling
Pounamu Pounamu (Anniversary Ed)
The Parihaka Woman
Nights in the Gardens of Spain
His Best Stories
The Matriarch
Pounamu Pounamu
Ask the Posts of the House
The Whale Rider
Sky Dancer
The Dream Swimmer
The Uncle's Story
Uncle's Story
Bulibasha