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  • Published: 31 October 2011
  • ISBN: 9780143565758
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $24.99

Rangatira




A Maori elder retreats deep into his past, reflecting on Old New Zealand and the historic trip to visit Queen Victoria.

Based on a true story

Auckland, June 1886.
Ngati Wai chief Paratene Te Manu spends long sessions, over three long days, having his portrait painted by the Bohemian painter Gottfried Lindauer. Hearing of Lindauer's planned trip to England reminds him of his own journey there, twenty years earlier, with a party of northern rangatira. As he sits for Lindauer, Paratene retreats deeper and deeper into the past, from the triumphs in London and their meetings with royalty to the disintegration of the visit into poverty, mistrust, and humiliation.

'Morris' research is both thorough and thoughtful . . . With its light, often wry tone, much of the story-telling is amusing, albeit desperately poignant.'
—Margie Thomson, Canvas

'An extraordinary literary achievement and probably the best of recent New Zealand historical novels.'
—Nicholas Reid, New Zealand Books

'[An] adroitly told historical novel . . . Paratene – old, forgetful but wise and generous in his appraisals – is our lens, and he's a triumph of characterisation, his voice genial and flawlessly authentic.'
—John McCrystal, New Zealand Listener

Also available as an eBook

  • Published: 31 October 2011
  • ISBN: 9780143565758
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $24.99

About the author

Paula Morris

Paula Morris, of Ngati Wai and English descent, was born in Auckland. Her first novel, Queen of Beauty (2002), won the NZSA Hubert Church Best First Book of Fiction at the 2003 Montana Book Awards and the Adam Foundation Prize. She has published three other novels, Hibiscus Coast (2005), Trendy But Casual (2007) and Rangatira (2011), which was the winner of the Fiction Award at the 2012 New Zealand Post Book Awards and the Nga Kupu Ora Maori Book Awards. She has also published the short-story collection Forbidden Cities (2008), edited The Penguin Book of Contemporary New Zealand Short Stories (2009) and has published three young adult novels in the United States.

Paula holds degrees from four universities, including the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She has worked in London and New York, first as a publicist and marketing executive in the record business, and later as a branding consultant and advertising copywriter. Since 2003 she has taught creative writing at universities in the US, the UK and currently at the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

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Praise for Rangatira

'An extraordinary literary achievement and probably the best of recent New Zealand historical novels.' — Nicholas Reid, New Zealand Books

PRH, PRH

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