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Home arrow Articles by Topic arrow Heritage arrow Fiction Addiction: Q&A with Paula Morris
Fiction Addiction: Q&A with Paula Morris PDF Print
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Articles - Heritage
Written by Bronwyn Sell, The New Zealand Herald   
Tuesday, 15 November 2011

I also visited a lot of the places Paratene would have seen or known - Marlborough House in London, Birmingham Town Hall, Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, the sandspit at Ngunguru.

Expat New Zealand writer Paula Morris has travelled the word in her novels, from the cemeteries of New Orleans to the haunted city of York and the New York PR scene (as well as the streets of Auckland), but the inspiration from her latest release, Rangatira, came from closer to home. It was in her blood.

Rangatira fictionalises a 19th century journey taken by Ngati Wai chief Paratene Te Manu, Morris's great-great-great uncle (if I'm deciphering her family tree correctly).

The novel opens with Paratene posing for the artist Gottfried Lindauer in Auckland in 1886, and thinking back to an extraordinary voyage he made 20 years earlier, to Victorian England. (The painting is now in storage at Auckland Art Gallery but, as you'll see below, Morris took novelist's liberties with the story of its creation.)

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