Imaginary lives of James Poneke

Imaginary lives of James Poneke Tina Makereti

The story of the orphaned son of a Maori chief who ends up exhibited as a curiosity in Victorian London.

A historical love letter to London, a coming-of-age story, a love story’

James Poneke is a young Maori orphan, raised by missionaries, with a burning desire to travel and explore the world. When an English artist on a tour of New Zealand invites James to return home with him, the boy eagerly accepts and agrees to become a living exhibit at the artist’s London show.

By day, James dresses in full tribal outfit, being stared at, prodded and examined by paying visitors. By night, he is free to explore the city, but anything can happen to a young New Zealander on the savage streets of Victorian London and James is unprepared for the wonders, dangers and unearthed secrets that await.

  • This novel relies on scrupulous research. It revives the dry bones of history and turns it into a living and fascinating story’ Sunday Star-Times
  • Tina Makereti explores questions of identity, cultural collisions and Victorian attitudes to race, colonialism and prejudice... Fascinating reading’ Australian Woman’s Weekly

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Lightning Books
256 pp.
Paperback Paperback
Engelstalige literatuur

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