Elizabeth Hale and Sarah Winters

Marvellous Codes: The Fiction of Margaret Mahy

Available for purchase and will ship within two working days

Hide Description- Show Description+

Story and fantasy have many functions in our lives, but one of the functions is to mediate between us and naked existence, to nudge us back into a state of astonishment from which we can also easily retreat, as well as providing places to stand, strong places in an overwhelming world. And when, pushed by no matter what sort of force from outside, we fall into the cracks in the structure, we immediately start to compose stories to bridge the crack or fill it in so we can walk out of it safely. —Margaret Mahy

Margaret Mahy is one of the great New Zealand writers. Marvellous Codes focuses on Mahy’s novels for young adults.

Leading local and international scholars explore some of the multifarious themes of Margaret Mahy’s extraordinary young adult novels. Essays include: ‘Solid All the Way Through: Margaret Mahy’s Ordinary Witches’, ‘Telling Stories of Desire: The Power of Authorship in The Changeover and The Amber Spyglass’ and ‘Gardening in Eden: Margaret Mahy’s Postcolonial Ghosts and the New Zealand Landscape’.


7 Introduction: Marvellous Codes Elizabeth Hale


21 ‘Solid All the Way Through’: Margaret Mahy’s Ordinary Witches Alison Waller

44 Contagious Knowledge: Margaret Mahy and the Adolescent Novel Anna Smith

62 Ariadne ‘Down Under’: Margaret Mahy’s The Tricksters Claudia Marquis


84 Pirate Parenting in Margaret Mahy’s Middle-Grade Readers Lorinda B. Cohoon

110 Setting Free: Margaret Mahy and Disability Kathy Saunders


130 ‘Telling Stories of Desire’: The Power of Authorship in The Changeover and The Amber Spyglass Lisa Scally

148 ‘True-seeming lyes’ in Margaret Mahy’s Fiction Kathryn Walls

168 The Wobble in the Symmetry: The Narrator’s Role in The Catalogue of the Universe Sam Hester

New Zealand

187 ‘A Fertility and Felicity and Ferocity of Invention’: New Zealand Landscapes in Margaret Mahy’s Young Adult Novels Diane Hebley

210 Gardening in Eden: Margaret Mahy’s Postcolonial Ghosts and the New Zealand Landscape Ruth P. Feingold

234 Rewriting Mahy’s The Tricksters: Exploring Sense of Place and Fictional Space Through Adaptation and Imitation Mary Hine (with Rob Pope and Alison Waller)

255 Afterword Sarah Fiona Winters

257 Contributors

259 Acknowledgements

260 Index

Related Products