An improbable cross-cultural love story between a Maori man and an American woman, and the fascinating history that connects them.
As an American graduate student in Australia, Christina Thompson travelled on holiday to New Zealand, where she met and fell in love with a Maori man. Their relationship was one of opposites: he was a tradesman, she an intellectual; he came from a background of rural poverty, she from one of middleclass privilege; he was a native, she descended directly from colonisers. Nevertheless, they shared a similar sense of adventure and a willingness to depart from the customs of their families and forge a life together on their own.
Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All is the story of Thompson's unlikely marriage, but it also encompasses the history of the complex and bloody period of contact between Europeans and the Maori in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
In this extraordinary book, which grows out of decades of research, Thompson explores the meaning of cross-cultural contact and the fascinating history of Europeans in the South Pacific, beginning with Abel Tasman's discovery of New Zealand in 1642 and Cook's famous circumnavigations of 1769-79. Transporting us back and forth in time and around the world, from Australia to Hawaii to New Zealand and finally to a house in New England with a history of its own, Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All brings to life a lush variety of characters and settings. Yet at its core, it is the story of two people who, in making a life and a family together, bridge the gap between two worlds.
Short-listed for the 2008 NSW Premier's Literary Awards, Douglas Steward Prize for Non-Fiction
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Christina Thompson was born in Switzerland in 1959 and grew up outside Boston. She attended Dartmouth College and in 1984 she was awarded a fellowship for graduate study in Australia. She received her PhD from the University of Melbourne, held postdoctoral appointments at the East West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, and the University of Queensland, and in 1994 was appointed editor of the Australian literary journal, Meanjin. In 1998 she returned to the US and in 2000 assumed the editorship of Harvard Review. Her essays and criticism have appeared in numerous publications including The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Boston Globe, The American Scholar and The Contemporary Pacific. She lives near Boston with her husband and three sons,