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Shadbolt, Maurice

maori novels dolphin stories

(NZ, 1932– )

Shadbolt's novels and stories typically engage with relations between whites and the native Maori culture in New Zealand, and depict the natural world in vivid, painterly prose. In his first collection of stories, The New Zealanders (1959), young people travelling abroad redefine their feelings about home and discover themselves. Among the Cinders (1965) is an engaging novel in which a disturbed young boy escapes into the bush with his irascible grandfather, following the trauma of the death of a Maori friend, and heals wounds while living off the land. In This Summer's Dolphin (1969), the arrival of a tame dolphin has a magical effect on a rundown island community; it is a fable about innocence and corruption, written during the Vietnam war. Season of the Jew (1980) is perhaps Shadbolt's most acclaimed work, the first in a series of historical novels set during the Maori wars of the 1860s.

Patrick White, Thomas Keneally, Maurice Gee  JS

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