A young Maori man who becomes a living exhibit in Victorian London society in the 1840s is at the heart of a new novel by Kapiti writer, Tina Makereti. The Imaginary Lives of James Poneke is very loosely based on the many Maori who travelled to the UK to find themselves being stared and laughed at rather than respected. Tina's previous books include the novel Where the Rekohu Bone Sings and a short story collection, Once Upon a Time in Aotearoa. In this novel, James finds himself in a London exhibition hall alongside artefacts, oddities and freaks, assembled for the amusement of wealthy visitors. Tina Makereti tells Lynn Freeman that, while James Poneke is fictional, it has roots in a true story: The Imaginary Lives of James Poneke, by Tina Makereti is a Penguin Random House publication.