18 Jun 2015

Hat's Lessons on Life

From Nine To Noon, 11:25 am on 18 June 2015
Harriet “Hat” Rowland

Harriet “Hat” Rowland Photo: Rebekah Dorman

Harriet “Hat” Rowland is the author of the bestselling The Book of Hat, a finalist in this year’s NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. Hat died last year, aged 20, two years after she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma – a rare form of bone cancer. The Book of Hat is a collection of her blog posts, written after her diagnosis, throughout her grueling treatment, brief remission, then devastating relapse.

Book Awards judging panel convenor Bob Docherty says, "It's funny at times, it's melancholic at times, there's nothing pretentious about it. It's just raw living from someone who is on the edge, and it's not a tragedy. This is life."

For Hat's parents, Jan Kelly and John Rowland, the book’s shortlisting for the book awards is bitter sweet. John talks to Kathryn about what his daughter still has to teach others.