Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Book Review : Huia Short Stories. 10 : contemporary Maori fiction

Huia Publishers have been fostering new Maori talent for twenty years, this their 10th edition is a collection of the latest up-and-coming story tellers.

Available to borrow from the Kiwi Fiction Collection


A review of two stories from this awesome short story collection.

TJ Corrigan (Upokorehe, Whakatohea) drew on a chance encounter and the kindness of a stranger in writing “Hemi’s Gift”

Our main character (a girl), whose name we are not given, must travel by bus to Whangarei from Auckland. At the bus station, the bus slowly fills our girl has gone to the very back, in the hope of being alone, but,  a “Maori man gets on board carrying a battered brown bag and an ancient guitar. He’s dressed in old, sloppy clothes. His hair has an overgrown wild look, like unmown grass”  he strides down the aisle and throws himself down on the seat directly in front of her, she shrinks lower into her seat trying to become small.

 This is a story of stereotypes, which are prevalent in New Zealand, and just how wrong they are. A heart-warming story of the kindness of a stranger on a bus journey to remember always.

Tangai Waranga (Ngati Porou/Ngati Kahungunu) studies creative writing at Manukau Technical Institute. She is a member of Banana Boat (a Maori and Pasifika writers’ collective). 

“Tank” is about Tamahine, also known as Tank, and her life changes. From being at home with her family, to being told she will go and live with her Nan after her Papa dies. Tank does not know why she must go, but, she does what she is told. The story goes on to describe her first day back at school and what starts badly, when she arrives late, turns into a nightmare.  A bad encounter with a teacher who singles her out for a telling off that escalates to a beating and ultimately to revenge. An action packed story that tells a story of abuse and betrayal.

Well worth a read this summer!

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