This year marks the 50th anniversary of Witi Ihimaera’s Tangi, the first novel written by a Māori author to be published in New Zealand. Join Witi and six fellow Māori writers at this special gala event to celebrate Aotearoa storytelling: Emma Espiner (MC), Vaughan Rapatahana, Ruby Solly, Donna McLeod, Arihia Latham and Airana Ngarewa.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the first Māori novel to be published in New Zealand, and to commemorate Witi’s contribution to Aotearoa literature, Penguin Books NZ will publish two new anthologies of Māori writing this year: Te Awa o Kupu and Ngā Kupu Wero.
These two passionate and vibrant anthologies, which have been edited by Witi, Vaughan Rapatahana and Kiri Piahana-Wong, feature more than 80 contemporary Māori writers. Together they reveal that the irrepressible river of words flowing from Māori writers today shows us who and what we are.
It all started 50 years ago when Witi’s debut novel, Tangi, was published. A landmark literary event, it went on to win the James Wattie Book of the Year Award. Witi was just 29 years old at the time.
Revisiting the text for this special anniversary edition, Witi has added richer details and developed the nascent themes that have continued to preoccupy him over a lifetime of writing. As part of the 50-year celebration, Penguin Books NZ has also re-released Witi‘s first book, the short story collection, Pounamu, Pounamu (first published in 1972).
At this special event, Emma Espiner will facilitate a kōrero with Witi and Vaughan about Māori storytelling’s upsurge in New Zealand literature, interspersed with performances by some of the contributors to the two anthologies: Emma herself, Arihia Latham, Donna McLeod, Airana Ngarewa and Ruby Solly.
All pukapuka will be for sale through our Festival bookstore Paper Plus Nelson, both at their shop and at their stall at Pukapuka Talks sessions – your opportunity to meet authors and get your books signed! You can also purchase books from Paper Plus online.