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2020 Longlist

The Imaginary Lives of James Pōneke

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ABOUT
THE BOOK

‘The hour is late. The candle is low. Tomorrow I will see whether it is my friends or a ship homewards I meet. But I must finish my story for you first. My future, my descendant, my mokopuna. Listen.’

So begins the tale of James Poneke: orphaned son of a chief; ardent student of English; wide-eyed survivor. All the world’s a stage, especially when you’re a living exhibit. But anything can happen to a young New Zealander on the savage streets of Victorian London. When James meets the man with laughing dark eyes and the woman who dresses as a man, he begins to discover who people really are beneath their many guises. Although London is everything James most desires, this new world is more dark and dazzling than he could have imagined.

 

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Tina
Makereti

Where the Rēkohu Bone Sings is Tina Makereti’s first novel. It won the 2014 Nga Kupu Ora Maori Book Awards Fiction Prize. In October 2012 Makereti was Writer in Residence at the Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt, and in 2013 she was Curator-at-Large for the New Zealand Film Archive. Makereti has a PhD in Creative Writing from Victoria University, and teaches creative writing and English at Massey and Victoria Universities. She now lives on the Kapiti Coast with her partner, two daughters and unruly dog.

Where the Rēkohu Bone Sings is Tina Makereti’s first novel. It won the 2014 Nga Kupu Ora Maori Book Awards Fiction Prize. In October 2012 Makereti was Writer in Residence at the Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt, and in 2013 she was Curator-at-Large for the New Zealand Film Archive. Makereti has a PhD in Creative Writing from Victoria University, and teaches creative writing and English at Massey and Victoria Universities. She now lives on the Kapiti Coast with her partner, two daughters and unruly dog.

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NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

We admired how this book speaks to both the past and the present, overlaying historical assumptions with modern sensibilities, and breathing new life into the important topic of colonial reading.

Auckland Libraries, New Zealand

Makereti paints a vivid picture of two worlds – Colonial and wild New Zealand and Victorian London – and how a young Maori boy fits within them. Richly detailed and told from a voice that has a gift of observation and an interesting perspective.

Timaru District Libraries, New Zealand

This is a dark, unsettling and dazzling novel about an orphaned Maori boy in Victorian London. He is there as a living exhibit. The book is fundamentally about those things that make us human and the true selfs of people obscured behind the prejudices and masks imposed on them by society.

Wellington City Libraries, New Zealand

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Country
New Zealand
Original Language
English
Author
Publisher
Vintage RHNZ

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