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From THE HOUSE
I don’t know what got me thinking about Saint. Hell, that was a way back now. Too much layabout time for thinking, these days. I had Saint buried, and I like to keep him that way. I grew to hate him, him and his rowdy bike and his rude tatts, and his crime. But he was father to my three tamariki, you have to give him that. A father of sorts.
Must’ve been the smell of mansweat. Sweat and engine grease. Tenacious, doing his apprenticeship. God, I love that young fella. Tall as, but still stoops down to give his Nana a hug when he gets in. I’d die without my moko.
Leah never hugged him, not that I saw. Her own son. Most of his young years she spent inside. She wasn’t there for him and his brother. They grew up with me.
Drugs, eh, and the whole drug business. Saint got them all into it – first Leah and Grace, later Deacon. The money was too good. It even paid for this house. Sundays I would go to St Mary’s and pray, then come home to pick up the pieces of mokopuna. One eye kept shut.
Extract from Biopsies. © Greg Judkins, 2020
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In a diverse community in South Auckland, a Serbian refugee struggles with post-natal depression, a Vietnamese boy with a deformed hand is asked to interpret for his grandmother and becomes burdened with a tragic secret, and a doctor becomes reluctantly entangled with a menacing but injured gang leader. Tension within families hovers over many of these gritty stories, but power often proves to be in the hands of those who at first appear weak.
Caring for this community, an idealistic young doctor, her increasingly jaded boss and their astute nurse are compassionate but flawed.
The medical centre provides a hub to these loosely inter-connected fictional stories, the scope of which pans across a slew of people living and dying with disability, social isolation, humour, conflict, hope and uncertainty.