> Skip to content
About the book
  • Published: 3 October 2014
  • ISBN: 9781775530503
  • Imprint: RHNZ Adult ebooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 129
Categories:

State Ward


Formats & editions


A moving, powerful novel about facing your crimes, about freedom and about redemption, from the renowned author of Once Were Warriors.

A moving, powerful novel about facing your crimes, about freedom and about redemption, from the renowned author of Once Were Warriors.

'I'm thirteen and I'm in a cell. A cell. It's got real bars, up there protecting that high window. I can jump up and touch them. I'm in a cell. That door is for real; it's made of solid steel, and it's got a peephole. So they can spy on me. But I ain't gonna bust. I damn well ain't.'

Charlie Wilson, the 'state house boy' from Two Lakes, is sent to Riverton Boys' Home as a state ward 'until such time as you are seen fit to return to society'. The door in the cellblock isn't the only thing that Charlie finds is for real. There's also the name 'George' scrawled on the walls, and by it the word 'kehua' or ghost . . .

  • Pub date: 3 October 2014
  • ISBN: 9781775530503
  • Imprint: RHNZ Adult ebooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 129

About the Author

Alan Duff

Alan Duff was born in Rotorua in 1950. He has written novels, including Once Were Warriors, One Night Out Stealing and What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?, a novella (State Ward), several children’s books and a number of non-fiction works. Once Were Warriors won the Pen Best First Book of Fiction Award and What Becomes of the Broken Hearted? won the Montana New Zealand Book Award for Fiction. Both novels were made into internationally acclaimed films.

Duff was the driving force behind the Books in Homes scheme, which, with commercial sponsorship and government support, aims to break the cycle of illiteracy, poverty, anger and violence among underprivileged children by providing books for them to own.

The New Zealand Listener claimed that Duff’s debut, Once Were Warriors, ‘bursts upon the literary landscape with all the noise and power of a new volcano’, while acclaimed writer Witi Ihimaera wrote, ‘This is the Haka, the rage of a people who, yes, once were warriors . . . A kick to the guts of New Zealand’s much-vaunted pride in its Maori/Pakeha race relations. A breathless fearless debut.’

The Sydney Morning Herald regarded the sequel, What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?, as ‘a masterpiece’: ‘powerful, authentic, moving, brilliantly written . . . a profound and passionate novel . . . a memorable experience’. The Australian praised its ‘universal truths to be savoured for their poetic insight’, while the Canberra Times called it ‘a brilliant work . . . poetic and full of hope’.

The New Zealand Listener wrote that What Becomes of the Broken Hearted? ‘carries the story on with doubled brilliance. The new book is just as dynamic, just as in-your-face as the first one, but less violent, more layered, more fundamentally thoughtful and challenging.’

Also by Alan Duff

See all

Related titles