Keri Hulme

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Keri Hulme

Ngāi Tahu, Kāti Ruahikihiki

In 1985, West Coast author Keri Hulme's first novel, The Bone People, won the Booker McConnell Prize – one of the world's leading literary awards (now called the Man Booker Prize.) The novel was written over many years, with Hulme saying the characters revealed themselves to her in dreams. It combined Māori and European mythologies, language and worldviews. 

Some critics loved it, others called it unreadable, but it sold over a million copies, making it one of the most significant novels by a New Zealand writer. 

Hulme lived, wrote and caught whitebait on the West Coast.

In this short sound recording you can hear she was as stunned as anyone to receive the news of the Award. She was in the United States at the time and unable to attend the awards and was told via telephone from the Booker ceremony in London.

Find out more about Keri Hulme:

Listen to a 1987 radio interview with Keri Hulme

Watch an excerpt from NZ On Screen from Gaylene Preston's 1987 documentary Kai Purakau, about Keri Hulme. 

Image: Keri Hulme (Courtesy of the New Zealand Book Council).

Catalogue Reference 204359

Year 1985

Credits

Radio New Zealand

Excerpt: 0:00:45

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