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Afffecting, evocative memoir by one of New Zealand's finest Maori writers.

Afffecting, evocative memoir by one of New Zealand's finest Maori writers.
‘This is a book of memories. Some of them are my own. Some of them belong to others. They are as true and as fallible as any memories—distorted by time and distance and a writer’s choice of words…’ In the debut memoir that kickstarted a writing career that has spawned 17 books, including many award-winners, Ben Brown writes of a quintessentially New Zealand way of living that may not change the world or even ripple its waters, but is replete with meaning.

Gathered from the tobacco-green valleys of the Motueka River where he grew up during the 1960s and 1970s, Brown’s memoir is rich with a sense of place, of family. The strands of his parents’ lives reach from Outback Australia and the hardship years of the Great Depression and World War II, to the Waikato heart of the Kingitanga and a re-emergent people, to a time and place where ‘tobacco was king’ and a small farm by a river was the sum of all ambition.

Each story, each portrait, resonates with the dignity, warmth and understated humour of a fine new poetic voice.


…a wonderful portrait gallery of farm people and family characters.

Denis Welch, NZ Listener

… a setting-down of memories that have been passed around, cherished, retold and polished … Brown’s writing is always atmospheric and interesting.

Trevor Angnew, Press

… may be the only one [book] in the world with something good to say about tobacco.

Jacquetta Bell, Nelson Mail

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Formats & editions

  • EBook


    June 1, 2012

    Random House New Zealand

    176 pages

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