By Tama Wise
(Bold Strokes Books, Paperback, 9781602826502, 264pp.)
Publication Date: March 2012
Categories: Social Issues - Adolescence
Tyson Rua has more than his fair share of problems growing up in South Auckland. Working a night job to support his mother and helping bring up his two younger brothers is just the half of it. His best friend Rawiri is falling afoul of a broken home, and now Tyson's fallen in love at first sight.
Only thing is, it's another guy.
Living life on the sidelines of the local hip-hop scene, Tyson finds that to succeed in becoming a local graffiti artist or in getting the man of his dreams, he's going to have to get a whole lot more involved. And that means more problems. The least of which is the leader of the local rap crew he's found himself running with. Love, life, and hip-hop never do things by half.
Tama Wise is a Maori author of Ngapuhi descent. He was influenced by growing up with hip-hop culture, as one of a generation of urban Polynesians searching for identity. Coming to writing in his teens, he was quickly drawn to what little fiction he could find that addressed race, sexuality, and poverty in an urban setting. Since then he has told stories of this world and others, weaving love, life, and a Maori view of things.
Tama has been published both locally in New Zealand and abroad, with short stories published in the anthology Huia Short Stories 7: Contemporary Maori Fiction, and more recently the Yellow Medicine Review. He lives in Auckland with his partner and three budgies.