The Unsettled: Small Stories of Colonisation, by Richard Shaw (Massey, March 2024)

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The Unsettled is a kind of sequel or companion to Shaw's earlier The Forgotten Coast (Massey, 2021). After he wrote that powerful book about his family history in Taranaki, he began to be contacted by other New Zealanders who wanted to tell their own family histories of benefiting from land confiscated from Māori, and their difficulty in accomodating that into their conscience; or they wanted to express their anger at him for stirring up what they felt was unnecessary hurt form the distant past. In this book, he describes some of those stories, and tells how those people are attempting to do something about it. It's essentially a book about the painful process of decolonisation, and what that might look like. Essential reading at a time when our newly elected government seem keen on winding back the progress made by Māori in recent decades. An important and timely book.