Potiki by Patricia Grace

“The story had changed. It was as Toko had said, the stories had changed. And our lives had changed. We were living under the machines, and under a changing landscape, which can change you, shift the inside of you.”ーPatricia Grace, Potiki
Potiki means the last-born, youngest child or baby of the family. It all makes sense to me now that I understood what the word means. I am so so thrilled by the art of storytelling of Grace. She is the master of her own craft. However, she made me felt like all the characters came into lives and tell me each of their stories. It’s so surreal.
Reading this book gave me a lot of nostalgia and reconciliation about my root. It’s a story about the Māori family and the community fighting against businessmen who were taking away their land for “development”, tells in multiperspectivity narration– the parents, the children, the grandmother and the aunt. It is a heartwarming tale of three Māori generations, past, present and future. I am very fond of the old tales the grandmother tells her grandchildren. Perhaps this is how one pass on history and culture. I put careful effort on doing reference research and look up the term written in Māori language so that I can learn the maximum about Māori culture. But I think it’ll be just fine to read it without all these works because Patricia Grace has crafted such a lovely, moving, thougful and full of spirits story. I am so glad that I picked this book for my reading goal. Grace had inspired me in such deep in a personal level–who I am, where I came from, my present, my future, my parents and my home.
Patricia Grace is a major New Zealand novelist, short story writer and children’s writer. She is a Women Pioneers . Her first published work, Waiariki, was the first collection of short stories by a Māori woman writer. She won numerous prestiges literary award both in national and international. I can see myself read more and more of her work.

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