A powerful memoir about racism, the Catholic church, and fathers
‘You approach family stories with caution and care, especially when a thing long forgotten is uncovered in the telling.’
In this deft memoir, Richard Shaw unpacks a generations-old family story he was never told: that his ancestors once farmed land in Taranaki which had been confiscated from its owners and sold to his great-grandfather, who had been with the Armed Constabulary when it invaded Parihaka on 5 November 1881.
Honest, and intertwined with an examination of Shaw’s relationship with his father and of his family’s Catholicism, this book’s key focus is urgent: how, in a decolonising world, Pākehā New Zealanders wrestle with, and own, the privilege of their colonial pasts.
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‘A fresh and exciting approach to the history of Aotearoa New Zealand’ — Paul Diamond, New Zealand Listener
‘Heartfelt, poetic; a pleasure to read’ — Rachel Buchanan, Spinoff