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The Bone People

by Keri Hulme

In a tower on the New Zealand sea lives Kerewin Holmes, part Maori, part European an artist estranged from her art, a woman in exile from her family. One night her solitude is disrupted by a visitor - a speechless, mercurial boy named Simon, who tries to steal from her and then repays her with his most precious possession. As Kerewin succumbs to Simon's feral charms, she also falls under the spell of his Maori foster father Joe, who rescued the boy from a shipwreck and now treats him with an unsettling mixture of tenderness and brutality. Out of this unorthodox trinity, Hulme has created what is at once a mystery, a love story, and an ambitious exploration of the zone where Maori and European New Zealand meet, clash, and sometimes merge. A Man Booker Prize winner.

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