A powerful memoir about racism, the Catholic church, and fathers
Shortlisted for the New Zealand Society of Authors Heritage Book Awards 2022
‘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