Witi Ihimaera was born in Gisborne in 1944 and began his career as a writer in 1970. His books Pounamu Pounamu (1972) and Tangi (1973) were the first collection of short stories and novel to be published by a Māori. Ihimaera has subsequently become one of the world’s most important indigenous writers with highly regarded novels and fiction collections to his credit like The Matriarch (1986) The Whale Rider (1987, made into an internationally successful film in 2002) Bulibasha (1995) and Sleeps Standing (2014). His two memoirs Māori Boy (2015) and Native Son (2019) will soon be joined by a third. His next book Navigating the Waka comes out this year. Ihimaera is also an editor of 19 books of New Zealand and Maori culture art and fiction. He edited with Tina Makereti Black Marks on the White Page (2017) and Purakau (2018) with Whiti Hereaka. He lives in Auckland.
Events at Word
WORD GALA: BRAVE WORLDSFriday, 30 October 7:45 pm
We open the weekend with a glittering event, with five of the festival's distinguished writers responding to the theme of courage. With Witi Ihimaera, Laura Jean McKay, Becky Manawatu, Elizabeth Knox and Behrouz Boochani, hosted by John Campbell.