Auē

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Pub Date 11 Aug 2022 | Archive Date 30 Jun 2022

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Description

WINNER OF THE JANN MEDLICOTT ACORN PRIZE FOR FICTION

WINNER OF THE MITOQ BEST FIRST BOOK OF FICTION

WINNER OF THE NGAIO MARSH AWARD FOR BEST CRIME NOVEL


auē


(verb) to cry, howl, groan, wail, bawl.

(interjection) expression of astonishment or distress.

Taukiri was born into sorrow. Auē can be heard in the sound of the sea he loves and hates, and in the music he draws out of the guitar that was his father’s. It spills out of the gang violence that killed his father and sent his mother into hiding, and the shame he feels about abandoning his eight-year-old brother to a violent home.


But Taukiri’s brother, Ārama, is braver than he looks, and he has a friend, and his friend has a dog, and the three of them together might just be strong enough to turn back the tide of sadness.


This bestselling multi-award–winning novel is both raw and sublime, introducing a compelling new voice in New Zealand fiction.

WINNER OF THE JANN MEDLICOTT ACORN PRIZE FOR FICTION

WINNER OF THE MITOQ BEST FIRST BOOK OF FICTION

WINNER OF THE NGAIO MARSH AWARD FOR BEST CRIME NOVEL


auē


(verb) to cry, howl, groan, wail, bawl.

...


Advance Praise

‘There is something so assured and flawless in the delivery of the writing voice that is almost like acid on the skin.’ – Tara June Winch, co-judge of the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction 2020


‘It reminds me of The Bone People and of Once Were Warriors. The writing has a wild, intuitive sort of magic.’ – Catherine Woulfe , The Spinoff


‘This is the kind of social realist New Zealand fiction I’m thrilled to see … This is a real punch-in-the-guts kind of novel but while it deals with themes of domestic violence, gang culture, grief, and fractured families and, is at times, a heartbreaking read; it is also a beautifully pitched and nuanced hopeful story about the power of love, friendship, and family … I think everybody should read Auē. It’s a book that people will still be talking about in decades to come.’ – Kiran Dass , NZ Herald

‘There is something so assured and flawless in the delivery of the writing voice that is almost like acid on the skin.’ – Tara June Winch, co-judge of the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction 2020


...


Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9781914484674
PRICE £9.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 7 members


Featured Reviews

Auē is a novel about cycles of violence and family, as two brothers are separated and must fight history to be reunited. Set in New Zealand, the book follows brothers Taukiri and Ārama, as Taukiri leaves his eight-year-old brother with his aunt, trying to escape the violence that surrounds him. Meanwhile, Ari has to adjust to living with his aunt and her abusive husband, making friends with his neighbour Beth, a girl with a dog and big ideas about leaving their rural area. Ari believes Taukiri will return for him, and maybe that will be enough.

The book moves between different perspectives: the first person narration of Ārama and Taukiri, and a third person narrative of an earlier time and their parents' generation. Doing this allows Manawatu to explore ongoing cycles of violence, both within gang culture and otherwise, and the impact of this violence upon family relationships. The most memorable part of the novel is probably Ari's narration, as a child who is growing to understand the complex world in which he lives, but also doesn't know the truth about his brother and the deaths that have led to this point. Ari and Beth's friendship, built out of unlikely circumstance, is a touching chance for sanctuary with elements that still bring the story back to violence (like Beth's obsession with Django Unchained). The other narratives were perhaps harder to get into at first, especially the story of the older generation which immediately throws in a handful of characters without you being sure of who they are, but after a while things come together.

Combining gang violence, Māori culture, and broken families, Auē is a powerful book, infused with a lot of sadness, that searches for hope and sanctuary. Having both child and adult perspectives and telling multiple stories at once works well, though I did lose track occasionally as to who was who. It's not just another book about gangs and violence, but one that explores family in its complexities.

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Aue by Becky Manawatu is a powerful and often brutal book very much in the style of Alan Duff's "Once Were Warriors". While Diff's book is set in the mean streets of South Auckland most of Aue is in small town South Island but with similar themes domestic violence,gangs ,poverty ,drugs and excessive drinking.

The book begins with recently orphaned Taukiri dropping his young brother Arama off at his Aunt and Uncle's smallholding and making a quick exit as he tries to put the death and violence that he's known in his young life behind him. From there as the brothers struggle with their new lives other characters appear and it took a while,and a bit of head scratching,to realise that the story of the boy's parents was being told in flashback as well. With so many names and timelines jumping back and forth I struggled for a while but once it became clear who was who I really got into the story,and what a story it is.
There's not much joy in this book,most of the characters appear to be damaged people leading chaotic lives with predictably bad ends. As with Alan Duff's books there's often a feeling of being physically battered yourself as the fists fly and the boots go in and it's often a hard read. There is a very clever device used by the author that I'm not keen on as a rule but works very well here and ties in with the Maori culture theme that runs throughout the book.. Those cultural references might confuse British readers, as might the Maori language phrases though there is a glossary at the back of the book.......which I found after I'd finished it and would have saved me a fair bit of Googling had I known it was there.

Overall a great read,it won't brighten your day but it's a superb piece of writing.. While the multiple storylines do get confusing as new characters and situations suddenly appear part way through, once you've worked out what's going on and the connections between the characters it's a gripping story..

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Amazing and unexpected.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for letting me access an advance copy of this book in exchange for my feedback.

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This was a really powerful read that contains some hard hitting issues that are handled sensitively and empathetically. It was well written with a compelling storyline and well developed charcaters that I am still thinking about after finishing the book. I also loved the writing style which gave the reader multiple points of view including that of children so as a reader I really felt that I got to know the characters and their circumstances.
This book had everything from family breakdowns and drama to gangs and gang violence but the thing that intrigued me the most was the Maori cyulture throughout the book. It is a culture I have also be interested by, but I have never read any fiction that features this culture and so it was such a compelling read for that as well as everything else.
This was a heartwrenching read in so many ways and it is definitely worth a read. I really liked it.

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