These Two Hands A Memoir By Renee New Edition
enee (Ngati Kahungunu) is regarded as a living legend in Aotearoa. Made an ONZM for services to literature and drama, she has been awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement, the Playmarket Award for significant artistic contribution to New Zealand theatre, and the Kingi Ihaka Award for Service to Toi Maori.
Born in 1929, Renee left school at twelve and started writing at fifty. She has written nine novels, over twenty plays and many poems, with Wednesday To Come her most-loved work. In 2017 she published her memoir These Two Hands, and in 2019, aged 90, her first crime novel The Wild Card, which has been shortlisted for the Ngaio Marsh Awards.
Renee has described herself as ‘a lesbian feminist with socialist working-class ideals’ and her writing puts women and Maori centre stage. She lives in Otaki, working on a second crime novel, teaching creative writing, and blogging on life, politics and books.
This is her story told in patches, like a quilt. One for every year of the life she’s lived so far. The original edition of These Two Hands was launched in October 2017 with 88 patches – one for each year of her life. Three years later and with Renee now 91 years old, the new edition has three chapters that cover key elements of her life since: the onset of macular degeneration, the publication of The Wild Card, and living through the Covid-19 pandemic. This time there is also an index to help readers and researchers follow this extraordinary life.