Witi Ihimaera

Witi Ihimaera

Witi Ihimaera was the first Maori to publish a novel, Tangi, in 1973. His best-known novel, The Whale Rider, became an internationally acclaimed film in 2002. Today, he is one of New Zealand’s leading writers, with 14 novels, seven story collections, three plays, and four film adaptations to his credit. Recent awards include the Ockham Award for his memoir, Maori Boy, in 2016, and six Wellington theatre awards for his play All Our Sons. He was a member of the international faculty at the Banff Center, and, in 2017, was awarded the French Order of Arts and Letters. He lives in New Zealand.

Maori Boy

This honest, stirring work tells of the family and community into which Witi Ihimaera was born, of his early life in rural New Zealand, of family secrets, of facing anguish and challenges of laughter and love. As Ihimaera recounts the myths that formed his early imagination, he also reveals the experiences from real life that wriggled into his fiction. This memoir is engrossing, entertaining, and moving, but, more than this, it is also a vital record of what it means to grow up Maori.

Sleeps Standing

This innovative and fascinating book is a kaleidoscopic exploration ofthe Battle of Orakau in 1864, where 300 men, women, and children fought 1700 British troops during the New Zealand Land Wars. The book centres around Witi Ihimaera’s moving novella, Sleeps Standing, which views the battle through the eyes of a 16-year-old boy named Moetu. Alongside the novella are non-fiction narratives from Maori eyewitnesses, together with images and a Maori translation by Hemi Kelly, further giving voice to and illuminating the people who tried to protect their culture and land.

Black Marks on the White Page

Here are the glorious, painful, sharp, and funny 21st century stories of Maori and Pasifika writers from all over the world. Vibrant, provocative, and aesthetically exciting, these stories expand our sense of what is possible in Indigenous Oceanic writing. Witi Ihimaera and Tina Makereti present the very best new and uncollected stories and novel excerpts, creating a talanoa, a conversation, where the stories do the talking. And because our commonalities are more stimulating than our differences, the anthology also includes guest work from an Aboriginal Australian writer, and several visual artists whose work speaks to similar kaupapa.

Witi Ihimaera’s appearance is made possible by Creative New Zealand.

Events & Tickets

Sat, Oct. 14 @ 3pm: Reel Life Tales

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Sat, Oct. 14 @ 7pm: Saturday Night Showcase: Timely & Tasty Indigenous Voices

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Sun, Oct. 15 @ 3pm: Sunday Afternoon Showcase: Timely & Tasty International Writers

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