Readerz.Net / ケリ・ヒューム
Keri Hulme (born 9 March 1947) is a New Zealand novelist, poet, and short-story writer. Her novel, The Bone People, won the Man Booker Prize in 1985. She was the first New Zealander to win this award. Hulme's writing explores themes of isolation, postcolonial and multicultural identity, and Maori, Celtic, and Norse mythology. She has also written under the pen name Kai Tainui.
Hulme was born in Christchurch, in New Zealand's South Island. The daughter of John W., a carpenter, and Mere, a credit manager, she was the eldest of six children. Her parents were of English, Scottish, and Māori (Kai Tahu) descent. "Our family comes from diverse people: Kai Tahu, Kāti Mamoe (South Island Maori iwi); Orkney islanders; Lancashire folk; Faroese and/or Norwegian migrants," Hulme told Contemporary Women Poets Her early education was at North New Brighton Primary School and Aranui High School. Her father died when she was 11 years old.
Hulme worked as a tobacco picker in Motueka after high school. She began studying for an honours law degree at the University of Canterbury in 1967, but left after four terms and returned to tobacco picking, continuing to write throughout this period.
By 1972, she decided to begin writing full-time, but, despite family support, was forced to go back to work nine months later. She continued writing, some of her work appearing under the pseudonym Kai Tainui. During this time, she continued working on her novel, The Bone People, ultimately published in February 1984. The novel has been praised for its use of language and Maori mysticism. Before it was accepted by the Spiral Collective, a feminist literary and arts collective in New Zealand, several publishers rejected the manuscript. It won the 1984 New Zealand Book Award for Fiction and the Booker Prize in 1985. Hulme was the first New Zealander to win the Booker.
Hulme held the 1977 Robert Burns Fellowship and became writer-in-residence at the University of Otago in 1978, and at the University of Canterbury in 1985. She has served as the Patron of New Zealand Republic since 1996.
Hulme lives alone in Okarito. She identifies as atheist, aromantic, and asexual.
Adaptation into film
Hulme's short story Hooks and Feelers was made into a short film of the same name that starred Bridgette Allen.