Saturday, June 28, 2008

Christina Thompson

Christina Thompson is the editor of Harvard Review. Her essays and articles have appeared in numerous journals, including American Scholar, the Journal of Pacific History, Australian Literary Studies, and in the 1999, 2000, and 2006 editions of Best Australian Essays.
Her new book is Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All: A New Zealand Story.

From a Q & A at the Come On Shore website:

This is the story of how you met your husband, who is member of New Zealand's indigenous population. Can you tell us a little about who the Maoris are and where they came from?

The Maori people are Polynesians. They are closely related to Tahitians, Hawaiians, Cook Islanders, Samoans, Tongans, and the other Polynesian peoples of the Pacific. They are thought to have originated in Southeast Asia, and over the course of some two or three thousand years they island-hopped their way across the Pacific to central Polynesia. About 2000 years ago, in the final stage of one of the greatest migrations in human history, they pushed north to Hawaii, east to Easter Island, and south to New Zealand, across thousands of miles of open ocean in voyaging canoes. And then, for reasons that remain unknown, their long-distance voyaging came to an end. So that when the Europeans arrived in New Zealand in the seventeenth century, the Maoris had lived there in isolation for about a thousand years.

You're an American. How did you come to be in New Zealand?

I grew up in Boston and after attending college in New England I moved to the west coast, where I worked for a couple of years as a secretary. The jobs were so boring that I decided I'd better go to graduate school and somehow I got the idea to apply for a fellowship to study in Australia. I enrolled for a Ph.D at the University of Melbourne and I was about two years into the program when I made a trip back to the States to visit my family. On my return I stopped in New Zealand just to have a holiday and see what it was like.
Read the entire Q & A.

Visit Christina Thompson's website.

The Page 99 Test: Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All.

--Marshal Zeringue