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Kris' Books.

Female. Slavic mind. Avid reader.

 I read across a broad range of book genres, with an emphasis on Aus/NZ lit, Russian and Ukrainian literature, Latin-American literature and European history.


My Journey - Donna Awatere Huata This was an unusually short autobiography, but very succinctly written with neither an excess nor lack of detail. I did not know of the author prior to reading the book, but I admired her after finishing it. Huata was the daughter of a father who was known primarily for his noble deeds as part of the Maori Battallion during the First World War, but who she says also inspired her to become educated and fight for Maori rights. He had a great capacity for learning languages, even translating Homer's Illiad from Latin into Maori, and encouraged her to also obtain knowledge as she could. But he also reminded her every day of Maori statistics, of how poorly they were doing as compared to Pakeha. Despite his violent manner, Donna did not fall into a spiral of violence-influenced lifestyle decisions as her sisters did, and so her journey began...

I liked the way Donna eloquently spoke about the flaws that plagued and continue to plague New Zealand's justice system, education system and biracial relations. She spoke of her memories like as if they had all occurred yesterday, without faltering at any point. I Albeit many things she discussed in the book were quite morbid, she managed to balance it with witty reflections on former situations. Reflecting upon her childhood she stated, “My mother had no concept of bills- she would stick a 5-pound note into the fees envelope and send it back...in retrospect, I must have been a godsend to the teachers at St. Peter's, who arrived to New Zealand to teach natives but instead ended up teaching the Smith and Caughey girls”.