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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Booker Prize-winner flees paradise turned "McMansion"

From the Greymouth Star

Author Keri Hulme exits Okarito


By Laura Mills
Booker Prize-winning author Keri Hulme is leaving her remote Okarito home of almost 40 years, saying it has become a “nasty mcmansion village”.

Her novel The Bone People won the international Booker award in 1985.

Okarito, a former goldmining village on the coast near Franz Josef Glacier, has been her home since the early 1970s, when she won a Crown land ballot and built her own home in a unique octagonal design.

Writing in the Ngai Tahu magazine Te Karaka, the reclusive author said only a handful of people lived at Okarito when she arrived — a family of six, who left within two years, and “an alcoholic”.

She said she was leaving because she could no longer afford to live there, while also firing broadsides at the changing nature of the place.

“We have people who fly in, planes, helicopters, to their very ugly mcmansions,” she wrote.

“Little by little a lot has been eroded: most of the places (can’t call them homes) have been holiday places, in an area where very few people take holidays.”

Local body rates demands made living there impossible, she said.

She still “loved the place and the birds” but the truly loving people of the place had gone away.

With thanks to Simon Nathan for pointing out this story. 

1 comment:

jamesbruno said...

I liked the novel The Bone People it was pretty awesome.