New Zealand literature

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New Zealand literature.

In the 20th cent. New Zealand developed a vital literary tradition, though only a few of its authors are well-known outside its islands: Katherine MansfieldMansfield, Katherine,
1888–1923, British author, b. New Zealand, regarded as one of the masters of the short story. Her original name was Kathleen Beauchamp. A talented cellist, she did not turn to literature until 1908.
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, short-story writer; Sylvia Ashton-WarnerAshton-Warner, Sylvia,
1905–84, New Zealand British novelist and educator, b. Stratford, New Zealand. For years a teacher of Maori children, Ashton-Warner developed many stimulating educational methods about which she wrote in the treatise Teacher
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, novelist and teacher; Eileen Duggan, poet; Dame Ngaio MarshMarsh, Dame Ngaio
, 1899–1982, New Zealand detective story writer. She was an art student, actress, and theatrical producer before her first novel, A Man Lay Dead, was published in 1934.
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, writer of detective fiction; and Janet FrameFrame, Janet
(Janet Paterson Frame Clutha) , 1924–2004, New Zealand novelist, b. Dunedin. Frame's complex, disturbing novels are marked by startling images and masterful language.
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, novelist. Nonetheless, New Zealand has maintained a flourishing literary culture since the 1930s. John Mulgan and Frank Sargeson initiated the New Zealand school in the interwar years, followed after World War II by Maurice Duggan, James K. Baxter, and Ian Cross. In subsequent decades, writers such as Maurice Gee and Maurice Shadbolt extended the permissible range of subjects to include New Zealand's Maori heritage. This new freedom is evident in works like Keri Hulme's The Bone People (1984) and Witi Ihimaera's writings. New Zealand has also figured in the works of many authors from Alfred Domett and Samuel ButlerButler, Samuel,
1835–1902, English author. He was the son and grandson of eminent clergymen. In 1859, refusing to be ordained, he went to New Zealand, where he established a sheep farm and in a few years made a modest fortune.
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 in the 19th cent. to the present-day students of Maori culture and New Zealand government.

Bibliography

See histories of New Zealand literature by A. Mulgan (1943), E. H. McCormick (1959), and J. C. Reid and P. Cope (1979); J. Stevens, The New Zealand Novel, 1860–1965 (2d ed. 1966); New Zealand Short Stories, a series of anthologies (1953–84); F. Adcock, The Oxford Book of Contemporary New Zealand Poetry (1982), and I. Wedde and H. McQueen, The Penguin Book of New Zealand Verse (1985).

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