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Ralph Hotere: The Dark is Light Enough: A Biographical Portrait

Paperback / softback

Main Details

Title Ralph Hotere: The Dark is Light Enough: A Biographical Portrait
Authors and Contributors      By (author) Vincent O'Sullivan
Physical Properties
Format:Paperback / softback
Dimensions(mm): Height 232,Width 153
Category/GenreOckham Longlist Titles
General Non-Fiction Award
Individual artists and art monographs
Biographies and autobiography
ISBN/Barcode 9780143775157

Publishing Details

Publisher Penguin Group (NZ)
Imprint Penguin Books (NZ)
Publication Date 20 October 2020
Publication Country New Zealand


A significant new biography of Ralph Hotere provides the compelling life story of this major New Zealand artist. Vincent O'Sullivan's compelling, nuanced portrait of the great New Zealand artist Ralph Hotere brings the man and his art to life. Ralph Hotere (Te Aupouri and Te Rarawa; 1931-2013) was one of Aotearoa's most significant modern artists. Hotere invited the poet, novelist and biographer Vincent O'Sullivan to write his life story in 2005. Now, this book - the result of years of research and many conversations with Hotere and his fellow artists, collaborators, friends and family - provides a nuanced, compelling portrait of Hotere- the man, and the artist. "Vincent O'Sullivan has given us the remarkable story of a small boy, Hone Papita Raukura Hotere - born in 1931 near Mitimiti on the coastal edge of the Hokianga - who first becomes Rau, then Ralph, and eventually an iconic, stand-alone signature- HOTERE. I love the tale about Ralph being invited to explain his work to the Queen. It's not hard to guess how he must have felt. Now he would simply be able to hand Her Majesty a copy of this book, give one of his quiet coughs, and say, 'Here you go, this should do the trick'." - BILL MANHIRE "Ka rawe! This rangatira book by Vincent O'Sullivan leaves no doubt as to Ralph Hotere's position on the paepae of New Zealand artists." - WITI IHIMAERA

Author Biography

Vincent O'Sullivan (DCNZM) is one of New Zealand's best-known writers. He is a poet, short-story writer, novelist, playwright, critic, editor, biographer and librettist. A former New Zealand Poet Laureate, he jointly edited the five-volume Letters of Katherine Mansfield (Oxford University Press) and has won national book awards, three times for fiction and three times for poetry. He lives in Dunedin.