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Hard by the Cloud House

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An eagle, and its place in our history. The legend of Pouakai, aka the extinct Haast's Eagle, takes Peter Walker on a journey from an 1860s Canterbury sheep run to a deep cave near Karamea as he learns the story of the mighty hunter that inhabited a peak in the foothills of the Southern Alps. Was it the same creature as The Rukh of Arabic legends? And, if so, was that evidence that in the twelfth century Arabic and Chinese explorers ventured as far as the South Pacific, saw Pouakai, and traded with Maori?From Kai Tahu's fatal encounter with colonisation to the glories of tenth century Baghdad and ceremonies at the great Tahitian marae Taputapuatea, Hard by the Cloud House is a heady, powerful and seductive mix of history, memoir, science and myth, crafted by an esteemed writer. Creative non-fiction at its best.