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Hush Now, Don't Cry by Bob Ellis


Author Bob Ellis

Based on a true story

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Mark begins his life in Eden, a remote North Auckland settlement. The story takes us through his boyhood, wending its way through much that life has in store for him. He samples forward offerings early in his life, all these experiences becoming embedded in his character – tempering it, changing it, a little at a time.

Hardship, hunger and poverty bring disaster to those not able to adapt so he develops great resilience and an animal-like awareness which helps him quickly understand the directions he must take to win or regain advantage. He and his Eden peers are fiercely defensive; survival becomes an art form. Exposure to sex, drinking and violence in his tender years teaches him to constantly adjust his view of life as he steps cagily through it. He reaches out for his right to life – and its rewards – and pursues it with unashamed commitment as he develops survival strategies with no apology for selfish gain.

ISBN 978-0-473-17862-8
GENRE Biographical fiction
FORMAT Paperback
No. PAGES 604
DIMENSIONS 152 x 230 x 30 mm
WEIGHT 880 g
RRP $45.00


Hush Now, Don’t Cry is a very important New Zealand story. We should all read it. For me it was gripping, revealing. It opens the door of enlightenment to those of us who did not live in such circumstances.
~ Bishop Philip Richardson, Anglican Bishop of Taranaki

Hush Now, Don’t Cry is a fascinating New Zealand saga detailing the maturation of a young Maori boy from his start in life in the late-1930s and 1940s in a poverty-stricken, abusive rural home, through his removal and rehousing by social welfare agencies to his young adult independence. Episodes of violence and caring, deprivation and availability, sexual and self-discovery, are vividly recounted in this rollicking, ‘can’t-put-it-down’ New Zealand novel.
~ Graeme Beals, Zenith Group Limited

I am a linguist, author and university lecturer. I intend to see my friend’s book published in German. I know this fascinating story of a Maori boy will be loved in all languages.
~ Rainer Berthelmann, Germany

Hush Now, Don’t Cry, reveals a character who developed a resilience and strength, resistant to pressures imposed by hopeful antagonists. A powerful story that had to be told.
~ Peter Jackson, Editor of The Northland Age, Kaitaia

A lot of the story unfolds during his college years. So I relate to it to a great extent. Powerful, sad story. Some of the explicit scenes are compelling ... real.
~ Rosey Mabin, High School Principal, Inglewood, Taranaki