"Behind the tattooed face, a stranger stands. He owns the Earth. He is white." Vaughan Rapatahana's first novel is a rollicking road trip through the 'skinny country' where a guerilla war is raging between Indigenous rebels and a Pakeha government controlled by foreign interests. Redneck assassins, secret-agents, biker gangs and feminist groups all cross paths as Mahon, an ex-university philosophy lecturer, and his gun 'Molly' blast their way across the country in a black Mark IV.
While homage is paid to Vaughan Rapatahana's existential and postmodern heroes, the voice is indubitably his own: sardonic, eclectic, at times laugh-out-loud funny and always deliciously subversive. - James Norcliffe
Vaughan Rapatahana has a PhD in Existential Literary Criticism and the Novels of Colin Wilson (later published as Wilson as Mystic, 2001) from the University of Auckland. He has worked as a secondary school teacher in NZ and has taught in numerous countries around the Pacific where he has been involved in various local cultural and literary activities, including developing the very first poetry anthology written in English (plus teaching notes) by Bruneians in Brunei Darussalam entitled Under the Canopy in the late 1990s. Rapatahana co-wrote (with Wereta Millard) the very first bilingual poetry teaching resource for schools in Aotearoa-New Zealand entitled Teach Poetry, in 2011-2012, and edited the particularly significant book depicting the ravages of English-language teaching agencies on Indigenous cultures, entitled English Language as Hydra, in 2012, which includes a chapter co-written with Graham Hingangaroa Smith entitled English Language as Nemesis for Māori. Rapatahana has published poetry and fiction in Hong Kong, Thailand and New Zealand, his most recent book a collection of poetry, china as kafka (Kilmog Press, Dunedin, 2012). Rapatahana currently resides in Hong Kong.