Whanganui Midweek



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

So begins Tina Makeriti’s recently published tale of James Poneke: orphaned son of a chief; ardent student of English; wideeyed survivor and “a living exhibit” who discovers life on the streets of Victorian London. Although London is everything the young man most desires, this new world is more dark and dazzling than he could have imagined.

Dame Fiona Kidman described the novel as, “A riveting vision of the world seen from the inside out . . . a gutsy, searing and totally absorbing read.” Tina writes essays, novels and short fiction and teaches creative-writing at Massey University. She co-edited Black Marks on the White Page (2017), an anthology that celebrates Ma¯ ori and Pasifika writing. In 2016 her story Black Milk won the Commonweal­th Writers Short Story Prize, Pacific region. Her first novel Where the Re¯kohu Bone Sings won the 2014 Nga¯ Kupu Ora Aotearoa Ma¯ ori Book Award for Fiction, also won by her short story collection, Once Upon a Time in Aotearoa (2010). Sarah Lang will talk to Tina about writing books and whether she feels she’s an activist for Ma¯ ori and Pacific literature. ■ Event: Tina Makereti — If Not Now, Then When? Whanganui Literary Festival Venue: Concert Chamber, War Memorial Centre Date: Sunday, October 6, 11.30am12.30pm Bookings: Royal Wanganui Opera House, admission: $15

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Tina Makereti — If Not Now, Then When?

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