Renée (Ngāti Kahungunu) is regarded as a living legend in Aotearoa. Born in 1929 she is a novelist, poet and playwright. She was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit and has been awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement, the Playmarket Award for a significant artistic contribution to New Zealand theatre and the Kingi Ihaka Award for Service to Toi Māori. In 2019 she published her first crime novel The Wild Card and has been shortlisted for the 2020 Ngaio Marsh Awards. Her memoir These Two Hands is to be released in a new edition in 2020. Renée has described herself as ‘a lesbian feminist with socialist working-class ideals’ and her work puts women and the concerns of working-class people and Māori centre stage. She lives in Ōtaki, teaching creative writing, writing online articles and working on her second crime novel.

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