As a young man in the 1930s, Josef battled the Nazis on the streets of Vienna. He fled to New Zealand, only to be interned as a dangerous enemy on Somes Island in Wellington Harbour. After the war, he rebuilt his life and married Nancy. Despite his success, Josef still stands askew from his times. In his chosen home he is both an insider and an outsider, and the past has become a place in which to escape and perhaps even to resolve the troubles of the present.
Maurice Gee is one of New Zealand's best-known writers, for both adults and children. He has won a number of literary awards, including the Wattie Award, the Deutz Medal for Fiction, and the New Zealand Fiction Award. He has also won the New Zealand Children's Book of the Year Award. In 2003 he received an inaugural New Zealand Icon Award and in 2004 he received an a Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement. Maurice Gee's novels include the Plumb trilogy, Going West, Prowlers, Live Bodies and The Scornful Moon. He has also written a number of children's novels, the most recent being Salt and Gool. Maurice lives in Nelson with his wife Margareta, and has two daughters and a son.