Tauhou

Tauhou

A Novel

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An inventive exploration of Indigenous families, womanhood, and alternate post-colonial realities by a writer of Māori and Coast Salish descent. 

Tauhou envisions a shared past between two Indigenous cultures, set on reimagined versions of Vancouver Island and Aotearoa that sit side by side in the ocean. Each chapter in this innovative hybrid novel is a fable, an autobiographical memory, a poem. A monster guards cultural objects in a museum, a woman uncovers her own grave, another woman remembers her estranged father. On rainforest beaches and grassy dunes, sisters and cousins contend with the ghosts of the past — all the way back to when the first foreign ships arrived on their shores.

In a testament to the resilience of Indigenous women, the two sides of this family, Coast Salish and Māori, must work together in understanding and forgiveness to heal that which has been forced upon them by colonialism. Tauhou is an ardent search for answers, for ways to live with truth. It is a longing for home, to return to the land and sea.

“Kōtuku Titihuia Nuttall takes threads made from all the colours of the Indigenous experience and crosses them over oceans, cultures, and time.”

— Tayi Tibble, author of Poūkahangatus and Rangikura

“A work of great significance, integrity, craft, and poise.”

— Alison Whittaker, author of Blakwork

An inventive exploration of Indigenous families, womanhood, and alternate post-colonial realities by a writer of Māori and Coast Salish descent. 

Tauhou envisions a shared past between two Indigenous cultures, set on reimagined versions of Vancouver Island and Aotearoa that sit side by side in the ocean. Each chapter in this innovative hybrid novel is a fable, an autobiographical memory, a poem. A monster guards cultural objects in a museum, a woman uncovers her own grave, another woman remembers her estranged father. On rainforest beaches and grassy dunes, sisters and cousins contend with the ghosts of the past — all the way back to when the first foreign ships arrived on their shores.

In a testament to the resilience of Indigenous women, the two sides of this family, Coast Salish and Māori, must work together in understanding and forgiveness to heal that which has been forced upon them by colonialism. Tauhou is an ardent search for answers, for ways to live with truth. It is a longing for home, to return to the land and sea.

“Kōtuku Titihuia Nuttall takes threads made from all the colours of the Indigenous experience and crosses them over oceans, cultures, and time.”

— Tayi Tibble, author of Poūkahangatus and Rangikura

“A work of great significance, integrity, craft, and poise.”

— Alison Whittaker, author of Blakwork

Published By House of Anansi Press Inc — Apr 11, 2023
Specifications 224 pages | 5 in x 7.75 in
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Excerpt
Written By

KŌTUKU TITIHUIA NUTTALL (Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, W̱SÁNEĆ) holds an MA from the International Institute of Modern Letters. She won the 2020 Adam Foundation Prize and was runner-up in the 2021 Surrey Hotel-Newsroom writer’s residency award. She lives on the Kāpiti Coast of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Written By

KŌTUKU TITIHUIA NUTTALL (Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, W̱SÁNEĆ) holds an MA from the International Institute of Modern Letters. She won the 2020 Adam Foundation Prize and was runner-up in the 2021 Surrey Hotel-Newsroom writer’s residency award. She lives on the Kāpiti Coast of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Tauhou is a search for answers, of finding ways to live with the truth. Some of the stories are like fables, others like poetry, and all are a sheer joy to read. A longing for home resonates, a gift for those of us searching for our island also.

” —

This one’s for the lovers of language, lean prose-poetry you can dip in and out of and think about for hours. Best read beside a large body of water.

” —

Brilliantly written in the best of Māori and Coast Salish practices of story, Tauhou is teeming with possibility, love, and dreaming otherwise.

” —Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, author of Noopiming: The Cure for White Ladies

A work of great significance, integrity, craft, and poise.

” —Alison Whittaker, author of Blakwork

Kōtuku Titihuia Nuttall takes threads made from all the colours of the Indigenous experience and crosses them over oceans, cultures, and time.

” —Tayi Tibble, author of Poukahangatus and Rangikura

Kōtuku Titihuia Nuttall’s Tauhou is a brilliant example of what language can do when forged with intentional hands and a fantastic mind. Nuttall’s work binds words in a way that doesn’t hold too tightly but steadfastly contains the many Ancestors present in Nuttall’s life and work, weaving together a tapestry of nuance and witnessing. Masterful dialogue and rich scenes move emotions like the currents around Aotearoa and the Salish Seas, a beautiful display of lyricism that loudly proclaims that Kōtuku Titihuia Nuttall belongs in the crescendo of rising voices in CanLit. Tauhou is not a collection to miss!

” —jaye simpson, author of it was never going to be okay

The stories in this collection move like the waves of the ocean that divide Vancouver Island and Aotearoa. Once you emerge from Tauhou’s narrative depths, you'll miss its imagination, its rhythms, its heart.

” —Alicia Elliott, author of A Mind Spread Out on the Ground