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The Bone People

Keri Hulme
CATEGORIES: Classic/Culturally Significant | Sense of Culture

The novel that made Hulme the first New Zealander to win the Man Booker Prize was originally rejected by several publishers. Although it is ultimately a story about love, the book is by no means a romance, but rather “an ambitious exploration of the zone where Maori and European New Zealand meet, clash, and sometimes merge.”

Book cover for Once Were Warriors

Once Were Warriors

Alan Duff
CATEGORIES: Sense of Culture

This is one of those books that has stayed with me years after I first read it and is one of the few that has caused me to consider breaking my rule of not re-reading a book because my to-read list is so long. Although the film changes some key plot points, I cried equally as hard during the pivotal scene. You won’t easily forget this one.

Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera

The Whale Rider

Witi Ihimaera
CATEGORIES: Classic/Culturally Significant

Among all the works of the prolific author, Whale Rider remains his most popular and beloved. Eight-year-old Kahu fights to prove she deserves the title of chief or her Maori tribe. (Book recommended by Tim Groser, New Zealand ambassador to the U.S., in CN Traveler.)

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