This is a fine new collection of short stories by the much-loved Patricia Grace, probably never more popular since the great commercial success of the novel Tu. The thread that runs through all the stories is Grace's huge sympathy for the underdog and the perspective of the outsider. The world she depicts is often a stark and unsentimental place, in which people struggle against ageing, rejection, violence, and betrayal.
Emma Paupere has just returned to New Zealand from Shanghai, where her training as a painter has made her a copyist of incredible skill. Now, Siaki, her ambitious and manipulative ex-boyfriend, has recruited her as a forger, shutting Emma away in a borrowed apartment on Prices Warf. In a room housing the owner's prize possession - a lost painting by Gauguin - Emma works day and night copying one of the most valuable Goldies in the Auckland Museum.