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Booksluts Challenge Read #3: Baby No-Eyes

Baby No-eyesBaby No-Eyes cover

Grace, Patricia

University of Hawai’i Press

ISBN: 978-0824821616

This is another of the Bookslut’s Full Frontal challenge reads, and a kind of personal challenge to myself.  I have been guilty for a long time of a bit of a hating of New Zealand fiction – we have this thing called the cultural cringe, where New Zealanders (generally, anyway) used to be horribly embarrassed of anything that came out of here.  Things have improved in a major way since I was little (in a far off, distant time known as “the Eighties”) but I guess as a nation, we’re still a little screwed up about it.  I liken it to middle child syndrome – not that I know what I’m talking about in the slightest, of course, being an eldest child.

Anyway, enough pop psychology.  Grace is a New Zealander, and is so local, that if I drive up the coast about an hour, I could probably go visit her if that wouldn’t be weird or creepy.  Which it would.  So I won’t be doing that any time soon.  The story isn’t really regionally grounded, but is definitely a story based in New Zealand.  It’s incredibly good; human, interesting, seemingly personal but not too horribly (i.e, obviously) autobiographical.  However, I do wonder how much someone who isn’t very familiar with the politics of race in New Zealand would get from it.  I mean, obviously, it’s not that hard to fathom out – I mean, this book did win the Neustadt International prize in 2008. Read the rest of this entry