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  • Published: 12 September 2001
  • ISBN: 9780140088038
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $30.00


A prize-winning classic novel, as relevant today as when it was first written.

Patricia Grace's classic novel is a work of spellbinding power in which the myths of older times are inextricably woven into the political realities of today.
In a small coastal community threatened by developers who would ravage their lands it is a time of fear and confusion – and growing anger. The prophet child Tokowaru-i-te-Marama shares his people's struggles against bulldozers and fast money talk. When dramatic events menace the marae, his grief threatens to burst beyond the confines of his twisted body. His all-seeing eye looks forward to a strange and terrible new dawn.

Potiki won the New Zealand Book Awards in 1987.

  • Published: 12 September 2001
  • ISBN: 9780140088038
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $30.00

About the author

Patricia Grace

Patricia Grace is one of New Zealand’s most prominent and celebrated Maori fiction authors and a figurehead of modern New Zealand literature. She garnered initial acclaim in the 1970s with her collection of short stories entitled Waiariki (1975) — the first published book by a Maori woman in New Zealand. She has published six novels and seven short story collections, as well as a number of books for children and a work of non-fiction. She won the New Zealand Book Award for Fiction for Potiki in 1987, and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2001 with Dogside Story, which also won the 2001 Kiriyama Pacific Rim Fiction Prize. Her children’s story The Kuia and the Spider won the New Zealand Picture Book of the Year in 1982.

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Praise for Potiki

Potiki (which means last-born child) from 1986 is a true classic and an important novel which remains politically prescient. Set in a small coastal marae town in New Zealand, a tight knit community is rattled as townie developers move in with flashy development plans that will devastate the land and community. The novel, which won the New Zealand Book Award for Fiction in 1987 is superbly crafted and politically charged. Following the lives of Hemi, his adopted son prophet child Tokowaru and wife Roimata as the effects of colonialism continue to cast a shadow, the multi-voiced narrative explores abuse of power, exploitation, land politics, gentrification and the everyday effects these things have on the ordinary people in a community.

Kiran Dass, Weekend

This author tells vivid and mesmerizing stories as she blends tribal myth with political realities, and offers shrewd insights into human nature.

Publishers Weekly, US

Every marketer and property developer in the country deserves a copy of Potiki. Patricia Grace sees straight but as we listening?

NZ Listener

One of those books that is never forgotten . . .

Lydia Wevers, NZ Listener

Delicate in its blend of prose and poetry, yet powerful in its statement of cultural identity, this chronicle of a Maori whanau expertly weaves together the timelessness of Maori mythology with contemporary realities.

Miriama Evans, The Dominion

Patricia Grace is an extraordinary storyteller. She writes with insight and with an intense sensitivity and spiritualty that is a rare treasure.

Irene Absalom, Christchurch Star

Patricia Grace's writing is as delicate as Japanese brushwork, yet as poignant and throat-aching as the loss of a loved one.

Arapera Blank, NZ Listener

Grace's wonderful fiction shows us with truth, compassion and humour, the good and bad, ugliness and beauty, strength and fecklessness of contemporary Maori life.

The Press

She not only tells a remarkable narrative, but she does so beautifully with such remarkable style.

Times Educational Supplement

Patricia Grace displays the kind of mastery that comes only from years of writing experience, patient observation and accumulated wisdom.

Sunday Star-Times

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