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Abstract: This article positions Maori author Alan Duff in relation to the New Right free market economy which emerged in New Zealand in the late 1980s. It argues that Duff's ambivalent images of contemporary Maori in his novel Once Were Warriors (1990), its sequel What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted (1996), and his autobiography, Out of the Mist and Steam (1999), ignore postcolonial discourses, clash with values of Maori Renaissance writing, and bypass biculturalism. Duff's unrepresentative neo-colonialism and his hybrid Maori-Pakeha identity make him the 'brown man's burden' by contrast to liberal Pakeha celebrations of the Maori such as Roderick Findlayson's stories in Brown Man's Burden (1938) which targeted the white man. Although his raw style and Maori English argot have revitalised the local tradition of realist writing, and his focus on social problems experienced by some Maori has exposed biculturalism's limitations, Duff's work remains marginal to identity politics at the national level.

To cite this article: Wilson, Janet. Alan Duff: Brown Man's Burden? [online]. British Review of New Zealand Studies, Vol. 17, 2008: [115]-142. Availability: <;dn=779541339086683;res=IELHSS> ISSN: 0951-6204. [cited 26 Jul 17].

Personal Author: Wilson, Janet; Source: British Review of New Zealand Studies, Vol. 17, 2008: [115]-142 DOI: Document Type: Journal Article ISSN: 0951-6204 Subject: Maori language; Maori (New Zealand people); Biculturalism; Affiliation: (1) Professor, English and Post-Colonial Studies, School of the Arts, University of Northampton Avenue Campus, St George's Avenue, Northampton NN2 6JD, and Director, University's Centre of Contemporary Fiction, and Editor, Journal of Postcolonial Writing, and World Literature Written in English, email:

Database: Humanities & Social Sciences Collection