First published in 2001
This story begins as the new millennium is approaching and is set in the fictional town of Dogside, a small coastal community on the East Coast of New Zealand (aptly named due to the number of stray dogs there. Across the way is the town of Godside—you guessed it—the number of churches). With money to be made, preparations are in full force for the anticipated arrival of many visitors and tourists, who will flock to this East coast site to experience the first sunrise of the new century. For their plans and money making ventures to be effective, the whanau needs to be united at a time that a secret is threatening to tear the community apart. Te Rua, a young Maori man who “holds a secret for life – one to die with,” realizes that if he is to acknowledge and rescue his young daughter from the very neglectful care of his aunts, his secret must be told. As a courtroom battle is looming with the caregiver aunts, his confession will not only bring shame on his family, but will reverberate right through the whole community. Dogside Story was a co-winner of the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize in 2001.
About the author:
Highly regarded New Zealand Maori writer Patricia Grace was born in Wellington in 1937. Grace’s Waiariki, a collection of stories first published in 1975, won the Hubert Church prose award for best first book. She has written several other collections of stories and novels, her most recently published novel being Baby No-Eyes (1998). Her second novel, Potiki (1986), won the fiction section of the New Zealand Book Awards as well as the LiBeraturpreis from Frankfurt, Germany. She has also written a number of children’s books, including the award-winning The Kuia and the Spider. Grace currently resides in Plimmerton on the ancestral land of Ngati Toa, Ngati Raukawa, and Te Ati Awa in close proximity to her home marae at Horoeka Bay, New Zealand/Aotearoa.
[Information drawn from Book-Club.co.nz and the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize web site]