This is a fine new collection of short stories by the much-loved Patricia Grace, probably never more popular since the great commercial success of the novel Tu. The feast of stories is varied: urban, rural, New Zealand, overseas, tribal, contemporary. An elderly woman, whose husband has died, gathers firewood on the beach while the appliances in her house fall to bits one by one. Willie falls in love with a statue. Great-grandmother reveals how she chose her husband-to-be - both of them. Rona curses the Moon. Petina tells Raycharles she's looking for a father for her baby. The thread that runs through all the stories, though, is Grace's huge sympathy for the underdog and the perspective of the outsider. The world she depicts is often a stark and unsentimental place, in which people struggle against ageing, rejection, violence and betrayal.
Patricia Grace is one of New Zealand's most celebrated writers. She has published six novels and seven short story collections, as well as a number of books for children and non-fiction. She won the New Zealand Fiction Award for Potiki in 1987, and was longlisted for the Booker Prize in 2001 with Dogside Story, which also won the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Fiction Prize. Her children's story The Kuia and the Spider won Children's Picture Book of the Year. Patricia was born in Wellington and lives in Plimmerton on ancestral land, in close proximity to her home marae at Hongoeka Bay. Previous novels by Patricia Grace- Mutuwhenua- The Moon Sleeps, Potiki, Cousins, Baby No-eyes, Dogside Story, Tu. Short story collections- Waiariki, The Dream Sleepers and Other Stories, Electric City and Other Stories, Selected Stories, Collected Stories, The Sky People, Small Holes in the Silence. Books for children- The Kuia and the Spider/Te Kuia me te Pungawerewere, Watercress Tuna and the Children of Champion Street/Te Tuna Watakirihi me Nga Tamariki o te Tiriti o Toa, The Trolley, Areta and the Kahawai, Maraea and the Albatrosses. Non-fiction- Wahine Toa, Ned & Katina- a True Love Story.