Keri Hulme was a New Zealand author and poet, principally known for her first novel, The Bone People, which won the 1985 Booker Prize. She died on December 27th 2021.

Her first book, The Silences Between: Moeraki Conversations (1982), is a verse collection noted for its unique and varied use of language. The Bone People, Hulme’s most acclaimed work, features three characters she first created as an 18-year-old. Hulme also published Te Kaihau/The Windeater (1986), a collection of short stories, and the collections of poetry Lost Possessions (1985) and Strands (1992). Stonefish (2004) is a collection of short stories.

Keri Hulme

Who was the first New Zealander to win the Booker Prize?

Keri Hulme was the first New Zealander to win the Booker Prize for her debut novel, ‘The Bone People’, in 1985.

She is one of only two New Zealanders to win the Booker Prize, the second being Eleanor Catton in 2014 for ‘The Luminaries’.

Three other New Zealanders have been nominated for the Booker Prize, Patricia Grace in 2001 for ‘Dogside Story’ and Lloyd Jones in 2007 for ‘Mister Pip’ and Anna Smaill in 2015 for ‘The Chimes’.

1985 Booker Prize award for Bone People