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Aussies & Kiwis : Australian & Newzealander writers
Langues sans frontières
Octobre 2010

When Robyn Scott was six years old her parents abruptly exchanged the tranquil pastures of New Zealand for a converted cowshed in the wilds of Botswana. She attended high school in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and subsequently studied Bioinformatics at the University of Auckland.

Twenty chicken for a saddle : The story of an African childhood

This is an account of a remarkable childhood in which dissecting a snake was the closest Robyn and her brother and sister came to a biology lesson, and children from the cattle posts were their only classmates. It also offers a unique portrait of modern Botswana, one of Africa’s rare democratic success stories, against the backdrop of one of the continent’s worst AIDS crises. The book remains throughout an uplifting, engaging and deeply affectionate portrayal of an extraordinary place and family.

Albert Wendt was born (1939) in Apia, Western Samoa, of mixed German and Polynesian ancestry. His publications often feature his own drawings, and in 2008 an exhibition of his paintings opened in Auckland. He has edited a number of important anthologies and continues to play a major role in fostering and promoting Pacific literature.

Leaves of the banyan tree

This novel is a family saga that contrasts three generations of Western Samoans as a way of exploring the effects of colonialism before and after the country’s independence from New Zealand. Tauilopepe, the grandfather, struggles to acquire wealth, power, and prestige. His rebellious son, Pepe, dies of tuberculosis and leaves behind a son, Lalolagi. He is taken away from his mother by Tauilopepe and sent to a New Zealand boarding school. Lalolagi rejects the Samoan language in favor of English, and falls in with businessmen to exploit the independent country’s resources.

Alison Wong was born and raised in Hawke’s Bay and, apart from several years in China, has spent most of her adult life in greater Wellington. Her background in mathematics comes across in her poetry, not as a subject, but in the careful formulation of words to white space and precision.

As the earth turns silver

It is the early 1900s and brothers Yung and Shun, immigrants from China, eke out a living as greengrocers in Wellington. The pair must support their families back home, but know they must adapt if they are to prosper in their adopted home. Meanwhile, Katherine McKechnie struggles to raise her rebellious son and her daughter following the death of her husband, Donald. One day, Katherine comes to Yung’s shop and is touched by the Chinaman’s unexpected generosity. Over time a clandestine relationship develops between the immigrant and the widow, a relationship Katherine’s son Robbie cannot abide...

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