Hibiscus Coast

Penguin New Zealand, 2005

Nominated for International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2007

Emma Taupere has just returned to New Zealand from Shanghai, where her training as a painter has made her a copyist of incredible skill.

Siaki, her ambitious and manipulative ex-boyfriend, has recruited her as a forger, shutting Emma away in a borrowed apartment on Princes Wharf. 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.

Lost in memories of the two men who shaped her life in Shanghai – her Chinese painting teacher, and the charismatic New Zealander with whom she had a passionate affair – Emma finds herself increasingly exposed to danger. And when talent, hubris and greed collide with disastrous consequences, Emma has no choice but to try to flee up the Hibiscus Coast…


‘Like Morris’s first, prize-winning novel Queen of Beauty, Hibiscus Coast is a mustread … Not only is Morris a seriously good writer – the tone doesn’t jar, the characters are satisfyingly complex, and there is an interesting reflection of the way we are now – she can also deliver entertainment … Like Dickens, she can tell a great story but also “catch” the world we live in, with all its complications and ambiguities.’

The Listener

‘Hibiscus Coast continues its predecessor’s strengths of fine characterization and evocative writing; and goes further by adding impressive qualities, such as a dynamic plot and knife-edge storytelling… a weighty and wonderful book.’

Christchurch Press

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