Booker Prize-winning novelist Keri Hulme dies at 74
Keri Hulme, the New Zealander whose 1984 novel The people of bones won the Man Booker Prize, has died. She was 74 years old.
Family members have confirmed that Hulme died Monday morning in Waimate on New Zealand’s South Island. They did not specify a cause.
Hulme worked as a tobacco picker, dropped out of law school, and worked as a charity worker before becoming an unusual literary star when The people of bones, her first novel, won one of the biggest prizes in fiction.
The novel was rejected by several publishers before being picked up by obscure publisher Spiral, a New Zealand feminist collective.
Hulme took almost 20 years to produce The people of bones which draws on its indigenous Maori and Scottish heritage, weaving themes of personal and cultural isolation. She then avoided the spotlight.
“There have been stories that she was this literary giant,” Hulme’s nephew Matthew Salmons told New Zealand news site Stuff. “It wasn’t really something she was talking about.
“It was never about fame for her. She has always been a storyteller. It was never about glitz and glamor (or), she just had stories to share.