Author(s): Witi Ihimaera
'Eleven years have passed since that winter of 1986 when I put down my pen on the story of the woman who wore pearls in her hair, my grandmother the matriarch, Riripeti Mahana nee Pere, whom some called Artemis . . .' So begins The Dream Swimmer, Witi Ihimaera's gripping sequel to The Matriarch, acclaimed winner of the Wattie Award. The Dream Swimmercontinues the odyssey of Tama Mahana, grandson and heir to the matriarch, as he assumes the mantle of leadership and, with it, his grandmother's battles with the Pakeha. But at every step Tama is thwarted - by deception and intrigue, and by the woman whose destiny has intersected Riripeti's and his. She is the enigmatic Tiana, his mother, the woman of no account. Ihimaera continues to dazzle as he negotiates this story of great breadth and breathtaking climaxes, combining the heart of his early work with the deft experimentalism of his more recent novels and short stories. At once an incisive character study and a deeply moving family saga, The Dream Swimmeris sure to enchant and delight. 'Part oracle, part memorialist, Ihimaera is an inspired voice, weaving many stories together. The effect if epic, operatic., - David Eggleton, MetroAlso available as an eBook
Witi Ihimaera was born in Gisborne, New Zealand, in 1944. He was a pioneer of Maori writing in English: the short-story collection Pounamu Pounamu (1972) was followed by Tangi (1973), the first novel by a Maori. A hard-working writer and editor, his works include novels, short-story collections, children's books, plays and numerous anthologies. His book The Whale Rider has been made into a successful international film, which won the Toronto Film Festival People's Choice Award in 2002. Ihimaera is professor of English at the University of Auckland, teaching creative writing and indigenous literature.