The Bone People is a dark, deeply moving story that will remain with you for a long time to come. Keri Hulme's unique use of language and lyrical style give the narrative a musicality unlike anything you'll ever read. The Bone People is Hulme's only novel and was the winner of the 1985 Booker Prize. More than 30 years later, it remains a testament to the power of love and its ability to transform lives. Recommended By Shawn D., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Integrating both Maori myth and New Zealand reality, The Bone People became the most successful novel in New Zealand publishing history when it appeared in 1984. Set on the South Island beaches of New Zealand, a harsh environment, the novel chronicles the complicated relationships between three emotional outcasts of mixed European and Maori heritage. Kerewin Holmes is a painter and a loner, convinced that to care for anything is to invite disaster. Her isolation is disrupted one day when a six-year-old mute boy, Simon, breaks into her house. The sole survivor of a mysterious shipwreck, Simon has been adopted by a widower Maori factory worker, Joe Gillayley, who is both tender and horribly brutal toward the boy. Through shifting points of view, the novel reveals each character's thoughts and feelings as they struggle with the desire to connect and the fear of attachment. Compared to the works of James Joyce in its use of indigenous language and portrayal of consciousness, The Bone People captures the soul of New Zealand. After twenty years, it continues to astonish and enrich readers around the world.
"Unforgettably rich and pungent." The New York Times Book Review
"An original, overwhelming, near-great work of literature." The Washinton Post Book World
"This book is just amazingly, wondrously great." Alice Walker
Set in the harsh environment of the South Island beaches of New Zealand, this masterful story brings together three singular people in a trinity that reflects their country's varied heritage. Winner of the 1985 Booker-McConnell prize for fiction.
About the Author
Keri Hulme, a Maori, grew up in Christchurch and Moeraki, New Zealand. She writes, paints, and whitebaits in Okarito, Westland. Hulme has written poems and short stories; The Bone People
, originally published by Spiral, a New Zealand feminist collective, is her first novel. She has also written Te Zaihau: The Windeater
Pepa Heller has been a professional tattoo artist since 1996. The owner of Bohemian Tattoo Arts in Tauranga, New Zealand, he draws inspiration from Maori and Pacific styles.