By Ihimaera, Witi
This anniversary edition of Witi Ihimaera's Pounamu, Pounamu celebrates the 40th year in print of one of New Zealand's most seminal works of fiction. When Pounamu, Pounamu was published in 1972, it was a landmark occasion for New Zealand literature in many ways. It was the first ...work of fiction published by a Maori writer, it was the first collection of short stories that looked at contemporary Maori life and it launched the career of on of New Zealand's best-known authors. The Pounamu, Pounamu 40th Anniversary Edition is a beautiful hardback collector's volume. It features a foreword by Dame Fiona Kidman and a commentary by Witi Ihimaera on each of the stories. In these author's notes Witi looks back to events from his own childhood that inspired Pounamu, Pounamu and the experience of writing and launching the book as a young man in the early '70s.Read more
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Three-time winner of the Wattie/'Montana Book of the Year award, Katherine Mansfield fellow, and playwright Witi Ihimaera is one of New Zealands most accomplished writers. Bulibasha, King of the Gypsies won the Wattie/Montana Book of the Year award in 1995 and he won it in 1974 and 1986 for Tangi and The Matriarch respectively. His other fiction titles include The Dream Swimmer (sequel to the award winning The Matriarch); Pounamu, Pounamu; Whanau; The New Net Goes Fishing; The Whale Rider; Dear Miss Mansfield; Kingfisher Come Home; and Nights In The Gardens of Spain. Ihimaera has also edited a major five volume collection of new Maori fiction and non-fiction, called the Te Aro Marama series. In 1993 Witi Ihimaera spent a year in France on the Katherine Mansfield Fellowship. His first play, Woman Far Walking premiered at the International Festival of Arts, Wellington earlier this year. It is Witi Ihimaera's writing that also opened the door to his political career. When the then US Ambassador to New Zealand read a copy of Pounamu, Pounamu he passed it onto the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Norman Kirk. At Mr Kirk's request, Witi Ihimaera joined the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and served as a diplomat in Canberra, New York and Washington. His political career has been significant, he is a respected commentator on Maori, Pacific and indigenous peoples' affairs and has held such diverse roles as liaison officer for Black Power in Wellington. He has also been instrumental in ensuring the Maori art and literature is supported.
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