A Made Up Place: New Zealand in Young Adult Fiction
Published December 2011
Most New Zealand writing for young adults is designed to appeal to adolescents everywhere. Is there anything, then, that is characteristically New Zealand about it? To what extent does it derive from local experience, or address a local audience? Focusing on a series of overlapping topics (race, sport, money, history, Englishness, future fictions, utopias and dystopias, religion and the Maori Gothic), the contributors to this volume suggest that New Zealandness is a subtle, at times almost invisible, but nevertheless pervasive concern in New Zealand young adult fiction. Authors discussed include Bernard Beckett, Kate De Goldi, Tessa Duder, Maurice Gee, Patricia Grace, Karen Healey, Witi Ihimaera, Elizabeth Knox, Jack Lasenby, and Margaret Mahy. This book, the first of its kind, is certain to stimulate discussion of an important, ever-expanding, but little studied aspect of New Zealand literary culture.
The five authors are all members of the English Programme at Victoria University of Wellington, where they co-teach undergraduate and Honours courses on children's literature.
Anna Jackson also teaches courses on poetry, contemporary fiction and American literature. Publications include Juvenile Literature and British Society 18501950: The Age of Adolescence (co-authored with Charles Ferrall), and journal articles on YA authors including Elizabeth Knox and Margaret Mahy.
Geoffrey Miles also teaches Shakespeare and the classical tradition, and is co-author (with John Davidson and Paul Millar) of The Snake-Haired Muse: James K. Baxter and Classical Myth.
Harry Ricketts's teaching includes courses on creative non-fiction and on modern poetry. He has recently published Strange Meetings, a group-biography of a dozen First World war poets, and (with Paula Green) 99 Ways into New Zealand Poetry.
Tatjana Schaefer teaches a wide range of undergraduate courses as a Teaching Fellow. She has published on seventeenth-century poetry and on the German childrens classic The Neverending Story.
Kathryn Walls teaches an undergraduate course on the chivalric quest c.14001600. Her publications include a scholarly edition (with Marguerite Stobo) of William Baspoole's The Pilgrime for the Renaissance English Texts Society, and journal articles on C.S. Lewis and Margaret Mahy.