In 1985 novelist and poet Keri Hulme became an overnight literary star when her debut novel The Bone People won the Booker Prize. This interview for documentary series Koha took place in 1983, after the release of her first poetry collection The Silences Between (Moeraki Conversations). Hulme is filmed, very much at home, in Ōkārito, the former gold-mining town she moved to in 1973. Between excerpts of poetry, Hulme discusses her mixed Māori and Pākehā whakapapa, her voracious childhood appetite for reading, and her compelling reason for living and working on the West Coast — whitebait season.
The Bone People might be seen not only as a cultural document of immense significance to New Zealanders of all races and as a major novel in its own right but also as an important advance in the development of New Zealand fiction, effecting a new synthesis of the previously separate Māori and Pākehā fictional traditions.– Christchurch Press book reviewer Peter Simpson on Hulme's 1983 Booker winner 'The Bone People', The Christchurch Press, 1 January 2021