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.
In a tower on the New Zealand sea lives Kerewin Holmes: part Maori, part European, asexual and aromantic, 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 charm, 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 Keri Hulme has created what is at once a mystery, a love story, and an ambitious exploration of the zone where indigenous and European New Zealand meet, clash, and sometimes merge.
Winner of both a Booker Prize and Pegasus Prize for Literature, The Bone People is a work of unfettered wordplay and mesmerizing emotional complexity.
- Aromantic asexual mixed-race Maori/white protagonist
- Booker Prize
- Pegasus Prize for Literature
- Ockham New Zealand Book Award
- Ace Reads’s review
- Louise’s review
- redbeardace’s review and Tabitha at Asexuality in Fiction’s reply
Where to Find
- First published 1984 by Spiral Press
- ISBN13: 9780140089226