Patricia Grace has been identified by Michelle Keown as among five of “the best-known contemporary Maori writers”, the others being Witi Ihimaera, Keri Hulme, Alan Duff and the poet Hone Tuwhare (145). Cousins is Grace’s third novel, following upon the widely studied and critically acclaimed work Potiki, which was published in 1986; it had been preceded by her 1978 novel Mutuwhenua. In 1975, Grace had published Waiariki, a collection of short stories, the first by a Maori woman writer.

In Cousins Grace extends the use of spiral time, which had already achieved narrative prominence in Potiki, as a way of interweaving Maori cosmogony with the processes of generation. Thus s…

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D'Cruz, Doreen. "Cousins". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 April 2011
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