Monday 21 November 2016

Witi Ihimaera (New Zealand author)

* Witi Ihimaera was the first published Māori novelist. Ihimaera is of Māori descent (Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki) and Anglo-Saxon descent through his father. His stories generally portray Māori culture in modern New Zealand. His work often focuses on problems within contemporary Māori society.

In 1995, Ihimaera published Nights in the Gardens of Spain, a semi-autobiographical work about a married father of two daughters coming out. He had come out to himself as gay in 1984 and began the work, but out of sensitivity to his daughters, did not finish or publish it then. Nights In The Gardens Of Spain was filmed in 2010 with changes to the book, making the central character Māori rather than Pākehā (European) to more closely reflect Ihimaera's life. His story The Whale Rider was also made into a film.


BIRTH DATA: Witi Tame Ihimaera-Smiler, 7 February 1944, 09:50 (9:50AM) NZST (-12), Gisborne, New Zealand (38s40, 178e01). ASC: 9 Aries. RR: B. SOURCE: Sy Scholfield quotes date and time from "Māori Boy: A Memoir of Childhood" by Witi Ihimaera (Vintage, 2014): "7 February 1944 ... I was born on 7 February ... According to my mother, I was born around 9.50a.m."; and place from news article: "Gisborne was where he was born, at Cook Hospital, in 1944, and where his parents were farmers and shearers" ("Witi Ihimaera's charmed life" by Diana Dekker, 8 June 2013).

Copyright Sy Scholfield. All rights reserved in all media. Please feel free to share these data and charts with appropriate acknowledgment.

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