Thursday, December 01, 2016

The loneliness of the monolingual palangi

Malo aupito to Neputino Tonga Online News, which has published an article about my tohi fo'ou The Stolen Island

Neputino is a Tongan-language site, and I am cracking out my Tongan dictionary to try to decode both its article and the comments that readers have left underneath! Oh how I wish I'd concentrated harder at my 'api 'ako faka Tonga!

Neputino's journalists attended the launch of The Stolen Island - my thanks to Dr 'Okusitino Mahina for inviting them - and they have done a fine job of captioning the photographs that 'Atan descendant Kenneth - or Keneti - Tuai took there.

[Posted by Scott Hamilton]


Anonymous Ryan Bodman said...

Hey Scott,
I'm really enjoying your book. It's a fascinating story and is very entertaining. I particularly like the personal journey that runs alongside the broader historical inquiry. It reminds me of Geoff Park's style in Nga Uruora. And your comment about sitting at a table talking 'about kindergarten waiting lists and house prices' made me laugh out loud. I'm happy I'm not the only one experiencing this pain and if I had been there, I would have been keen as to pursue a discussion on piracy in the south seas.
All the best.

3:31 pm  
Anonymous Scott Hamilton said...

Thanks for your lovely comment Ryan. As far as I'm concerned Park's Nga Uruora as well as Martin Edmond's best books set the bar for creative non-fiction in New Zealand. Nga Uruora hasn't, I think, gotten the recognition it deserves. It is a literary as well as a scholarly masterpiece...

4:01 pm  
Anonymous Scott Hamilton said...

Btw, do you know Sven Lindqist's work? I got the idea for numbering the units of The Stolen Island (and I find it works for other texts as well) from him. He's a marvellous writer who is perhaps only now leaping the language barrier and getting the recongition that ought to have been his in the 1960s and '70s:

4:07 pm  
Anonymous Ryan Bodman said...

No, I haven't. I'll check him out. The numbering in your book works really well. My league project isn't creative non-fiction, but I'm definitely keen to explore that approach in future projects. I read an incredible book called Collision Course, by Joseph A. McCartin, which covers the 1981 Air Traffic Controllers' strike in the US. It may sound a bit dull, but it reads like a page-turning thriller. I was captivated. I think NZ's ECA dispute could be given a similar treatment, though I'll need to seriously up my creative-writing skills if I'm ever going to pull that off.

4:18 pm  
Anonymous Scott Hamilton said...

Interesting idea Ryan. Peace's GB84 might have some parallels:

We should have a coffee or beer sometime because I have a research project that has emerged from the Great South Road involving a very little known but shocking sequence of events involving a supermilitant fraction of the in the NZ left in the early 1970s - we might be able to swap notes. I'm at

9:38 pm  
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1:07 am  

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