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In this new novel acclaimed Maori novelist Patricia Grace visits the often terrifying and complex world faced by men of the Maori Battalion in Italy during the Second World War. Tu is proud of his name - the Maori god of war. But for the returned soldier there's a shadow over his own war experience with the Maori Battalion in Italy. Three young men from the one family went to war, but only one returned - Tu is the sole survivor. Now, when his young niece and nephew come to him to find out what happened, Tu is brought face to face with the past. What really happened to the three brothers as the Maori Battalion fought in the hills and valleys of Italy is contained in the pages of his war journal, and this he now decides to give to his niece and nephew. Patricia Grace has drawn on the war experiences of her father and other relatives and ventured into new territory by writing about the world of war and soldiers. The result is a novel of great authenticity and high drama from one of our finest storytellers.
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.
Winner of Montana New Zealand Book Awards: Fiction Category 2005 and Nielsen BookData New Zealand Booksellers' Choice Award 2005 and Montana New Zealand Book Awards: Deutz Medal for Fiction 2005. Shortlisted for Nga Kupu Ora Maori Book of the Decade 2009.