Gee, Maurice (Gough) 1931-
GEE, Maurice (Gough) 1931-
PERSONAL: Born August 22, 1931, in Whakatane, New Zealand; son of Leonard (a carpenter) and Lyndahl (Chapple) Gee; married Margaretha Garden (a librarian), 1970; children: Nigel (from a previous marriage), Emily, Abigail. Education: Attended Avondale College, Auckland, New Zealand, 1945-49; University of Auckland, M.A. (English; with honors), 1953; attended Auckland Teachers College, 1954, and New Zealand Library School, 1966.
ADDRESSES: Home—41 Chelmsford St., Ngaio, Wellington, New Zealand. Agent—Richards Literary Agency, P.O. Box 31240, Milford, Auckland 9, New Zealand.
CAREER: Novelist and author of books for children. School teacher, 1955-57; worked variously as a postal worker, window cleaner, and hospital porter, 1958-66; Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand, assistant librarian, 1967-69; Napier Public Library, Napier, New Zealand, city librarian, 1970-72; Teachers Colleges Library, Auckland, New Zealand, deputy librarian, 1974-76; full-time writer, 1976—. Member, New Zealand Authors' Fund advisory committee.
MEMBER: PEN, New Zealand Writers' Guild.
AWARDS, HONORS: New Zealand Literary Fund scholarships, 1962, 1976; Robert Burns fellowship, University of Otago, 1964; Award of Achievement, New Zealand Literary Fund, 1965, for A Special Flower, 1972, for In My Father's Den; Hubert Church Memorial Prize, 1972, for In My Father's Den; New Zealand Book Award (co-recipient), 1976, for A Glorious Morning, Comrade; James Tait Black Memorial Prize, New Zealand Book Award, Buckland Literary Award, and Sir James Wattie Award (New Zealand Book of the Year), all 1979, all for Plumb; New Zealand Book Award, 1982, 1991; New Zealand Children's Book of the Year, 1982, for The Halfmen of O, and 1995, for The Fat Man; AIM Award, 1983, for The Halfmen of O; Esther Glen Award, New Zealand Library Association, 1986, for Motherstone; D.Litt., Victoria University of Wellington, 1987; writing fellow, Victoria University of Wellington, 1989; AIM Children's Book Award second prize in story book category, 1990; Katherine Mansfield Memorial fellow, Menton, France, 1992; Sir James Wattie Award, 1993; New Zealand Post Children's Book Award for Junior Fiction, Supreme Award, and Esther Glen Award, New Zealand Library Association, all 1995, all for The Fat Man; Deutz Medal for Fiction, Montana New Zealand Book Awards, 1998, for Live Bodies; Margaret Mahy Medal and Lecture Award, Children's Literature Foundation, 2002; named Arts Foundation of New Zealand Icon Artist, 2003.
The Big Season, Hutchinson (London, England), 1962.
A Special Flower, Hutchinson (London, England), 1965.
In My Father's Den, Faber & Faber (London, England), 1972.
Games of Choice, Faber & Faber (London, England), 1976.
Plumb (first book in a trilogy), Faber & Faber (London, England), 1978.
Meg (second book in a trilogy), Faber & Faber (London, England), 1981, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1982.
Sole Survivor (third book in a trilogy), St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1983.
Prowlers, Faber & Faber (London, England), 1987.
The Burning Boy, Viking (New York, NY), 1990.
Going West, Faber & Faber (London, England), 1993.
Crime Story, Penguin (Auckland, New Zealand), 1994.
Loving Ways, Penguin (Auckland, New Zealand), 1996.
Live Bodies, Penguin (New York, NY), 1998.
fiction; for young adults
Under the Mountain, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1979.
The World around the Corner, illustrated by Gary Hebley, Oxford University Press (Wellington, New Zealand), 1980, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1981.
The Halfmen of O (first book in "O" trilogy), Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1982.
The Priests of Ferris (second book in "O" trilogy), Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1984.
Motherstone (third book in "O" trilogy), Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1985.
The Fire-Raiser, Oxford University Press (Auckland, New Zealand), 1986, Houghton (New York, NY), 1992.
The Champion, Oxford University Press (Auckland, New Zealand), 1989, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1993.
The Fat Man, Penguin (Auckland, New Zealand), 1994, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1997.
Loving Ways, Penguin (New York, NY), 1996.
Orchard Street, Viking (Auckland, New Zealand), 1998.
Hostel Girl, Puffin (Auckland, New Zealand), 1999.
Ellie and the Shadow Man, Penguin (New York, NY), 2001.
A Glorious Morning, Comrade (short stories), Auckland University Press/Oxford University Press (Auckland, New Zealand), 1975.
Nelson Central School: A History, Nelson Central School Centennial Committee (Nelson, New Zealand), 1978.
Collected Short Stories, Penguin (London, England), 1986, Penguin (New York, NY), 1997.
Also author of scripts for television series, including Mortimer's Patch, 1980, and of television adaptations of The Fire-Raiser, 1986, and of The Champion, 1989. Work represented in anthologies, including New Authors Short Story I, Hutchinson, 1961. Contributor to periodicals, including Landfall, Mate, and Islands.
SIDELIGHTS: Maurice Gee is an award-winning New Zealand author of fiction for both adults and children. His stories, which are usually set in fictionalized versions of his hometown and the surrounding area, are characterized by a distinctive sense of place; he often sets his novels in New Zealand's past, thus allowing observations of how his country's politics and ideals have evolved over time. Whether he is writing for young or mature audiences, Gee's books contain common themes, such as the problems caused by intolerance of those of different races, nationalities, or social status, the rejection of the outsider, and the struggle between good and evil forces. A realistic writer for the most part, even his tales of science fiction and fantasy aimed at young readers are notable for their detail, which makes them all the more believable and useful as "as a springboard for the bizarre," as Mark Sullivan put it in the Encyclopedia of World Literature. Gee has, furthermore, been widely praised for his compelling, well-rounded protagonists and supporting characters. "Each of Gee's novels bountifully gives us a rich vision of some region and aspect of New Zealand life, and of human life in general," asserted a contributor to The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Literature. "Each is peopled with a variety of intensely living and unique personalities together with lush images of the natural and social worlds. Taken together his books can overwhelm us with their wealth, density and complexity of life. Yet there is always an awareness of living at the edge of an abyss: one false move and we shall leave this abundance for nothingness."
Born in Whakatane, New Zealand, Gee spent his childhood in a rural area of that country, living an idyllic youth filled with "swimming and eeling and sailing tin canoes and catching crayfish and diving from willow branches," as he once related. His father was a carpenter, and he and his brothers used his father's tools to build crude boats and have adventures on Henderson Creek, much as many of his characters do in his stories. His love of storytelling was likely a result of his mother's influence; she often told her children stories about their family, and this, according to the Oxford Companion writer, had an impact on Gee's "sense of social history and its implications for families, couples and individuals," which can be seen in his writing.
From early on Gee had a great desire to be a writer, but he was not confident that he could make a living at it, so he attended teaching college and took a job as a teacher after graduating. This position did not last long, however, because he quickly discovered that he disliked teaching. For several years he worked a variety of jobs, finally ending up as a librarian. Being a librarian added stability to his life, something he especially needed after being married in 1970 and settling in the town of Nelson, but he still grew frustrated. "Libraries had too many books," he once said, "they seemed to stop me from writing my own." At this point in his life, Gee had already published a few short stories and novels for adults, but his literary career really took off after he quit the library in 1976 to write full time.
Gee first began publishing stories in the mid-1950s, and even though this period marked an apprenticeship for the writer, his short tales still "rank among the finest stories in New Zealand literature and make a substantial contribution to the tradition of the critical realist story," according to Lawrence Jones in the Reference Guide to Short Fiction. Stories such as "The Losers" and "Eleventh Holiday" address what would become Gee's central concerns and themes, such as the need to experience pain in order to undergo personal growth and self-discovery. One can also already come upon the author's frequent use of words such as "hole," "nothing," and "abyss," dangers that his characters are at risk of experiencing.
In Gee's first novel, The Big Season, the reader is introduced to Rob Andrews, who is in danger of losing himself if he allows himself to be sucked into the narrow lives and opinions of others living in his small hometown. An athletic rugby player with a sense of rebelliousness in him, Rob resists becoming a part of his father's business and the stereotypical married man and community leader his family wishes him to be.
The spark is set off in Rob when he meets an ex-con named Bill Walters, and his rebelliousness comes to the fore when he falls for Bill's girlfriend. Though Rob violates both the trust of his new friend and betrays his family's wish that he marry someone belonging to his own social class, he remains true to himself in the end.
Gee's next novel "is more complex and adventurous than the straightforward prose of The Big Season, " according to a writer for Contemporary Novelists, who noted that the author uses "shifting perspectives among characters" and "an unconventional handling of time." However, the theme of conflict between family members and social classes that was present in the first book is also a major part of this work. In this story, a pregnant woman whose husband has died has a difficult time with her in-laws until a final reconciliation at the end. Similar conflicts again arise in Games of Choice, which tells how a family self-destructs after the children leave home to pursue their own life choices and the parents get a divorce.
With Plumb and its sequels, Meg and Sole Survivor, Gee's writing reached a new level of literary accomplishment, according to critics and the author himself. "Critics have found my work careful in execution and narrow in range," Gee once told CA. "Naturally I see more to it than that. I agree with them that Plumb marks a breakthrough. For this novel I turned to the career of my grandfather, a Presbyterian minister who was tried for heresy by his church and jailed for seditious utterance by the state. My intention was not only to describe the career of a man, George Plumb, who had experiences similar to my grandfather's, but to get away from the set-piece structure of my earlier novels and suggest that Plumb's problems of conscience and quest and personal growth—his religious and political and domestic concerns—were (in Angus Wilson's words about his Anglo-Saxon Attitudes) a 'centre of "life" which expands beyond the reader's view into "reality."' I hope I have been successful in this."
The trilogy follows six generations of the Plumb family, focusing on three of them from the 1940s to the 1980s, while covering times in New Zealand's history going back over a century. This makes for a combined effect of a minor epic. In Plumb Gee paints a vivid portrait of George Plumb, an idealistic man who envisions New Zealand as a potential New Jerusalem. Because of his high ideals and narrowness of vision, however, Plumb is unable to see the reality of the world around him clearly, and is thus unable to accomplish his goals. While Plumb has a definite religious flavor to it, Meg is more of a novel of domestic concerns. Told from the viewpoint of Plumb's granddaughter, Meg Sole Plumb, it follows her life from childhood to adulthood, during which a number of deaths occur within the Plumb family that parallels a sense of dissolution coursing through New Zealand society. Meg herself dies tragically in Sole Survivor, which is narrated by her son, reporter Raymond Sole, and turns to political themes. Over the course of the three books, therefore, the reader witnesses the entropy of New Zealand society as it decays from initial religious idealism to crass materialism and politics. It is a story, however, not limited to just one country but applicable to most of the modern world. Calling them an "extremely ambitious trilogy of novels," Peter Lewis related in Contemporary Novelists that Plumb, Meg and Sole Survivor contain such elements found in his earlier works as "the emotional complexity of family life with its blend of loyalty and antagonism, mutual care and incomprehension, love and hate; the relationship between individual and community and between private and public life; conformist acceptance and nonconformist rebellion; [and] relativity of viewpoint. But the scale of trilogy allows Gee to be more expansive and wide-ranging than ever before so that he is able to produce a saga of New Zealand life covering about a hundred years."
An historical expanse of time is also conveyed in Gee's next book, Prowlers, which is another family saga, as well as in his young-adult novel Ellie and the Shadow Man. Set in the fictional town of Jessup, which is modeled after the author's home town, Prowlers tells the town's history through the eyes of octogenarian Sir Noel Papps, as well as through his grandniece Kate's research into Noel's sister, Kitty, who was once a leader in the Labor Party. Ellie and the Shadow Man, on the other hand, is narrated by the title character as she ages from the 1950s through the 1990s. While examining the history of New Zealand through Ellie's eyes, the novel is also concerned with the nature of creativity. Ellie is an artist, and her talent as a painter proves to be a source of both personal enrichment and pain for her. Over the course of the book, Ellie endures difficult family relationships, several unsuccessful pairings with various men, and the hardships of raising a child. Finally, reaching middle age, she gains fame as an artist, yet she still wonders if it is enough. Like many of Gee's characters, she is an outsider in her society because she is a single mother at a time before single motherhood was widely accepted; and her artistic bent and intelligence also sets her apart from most of those around her. Many critics found Ellie and the Shadow Man to be a compelling portrait of a complex woman. Though Guardian reviewer Nicola Walker felt that the characters in the novel lack "flesh-and-blood vitality," Louise Carpenter asserted in the London Daily Telegraph that "Gee gives us Ellie's life completely." Times Literary Supplement contributor Ranti Williams further asserted that Ellie "is wonderfully drawn and fleshed out; she is invariably believable, not always likeable but certainly sympathetic."
Outsiders such as Ellie can be seen in a number of other Gee novels, both for adults and younger readers. The Burning Boy features a young character who has been horribly disfigured due to a tragic accident that also killed another boy; Live Bodies is about two Europeans who are imprisoned in New Zealand during World War II because one is an Austrian and the other a German. Even years after the war, the Austrian, who has remained in New Zealand to build a successful bakery business, finds that society there still hates foreigners. Outcasts are also found in Gee's young-adult books, such as The Champion and The Fat Man. In the former title the outsider is a black American soldier who is staying at twelve-year-old Rex's home in Kettle Creek, New Zealand. When he first hears that an American soldier is going to visit them, Rex is excited, imagining he will meet a brave pilot and captain, but he is disappointed when Jackson Coop arrives. Jack is only a private, and he is also black, a minority with even less status in New Zealand than the local Maoris and Dalmatians. Furthermore, Jack at first seems like a coward to Rex when he confesses that battle scares him. Over time, however, Rex comes to admire Jack, who proves that he has many other virtues, such as kindness, wit, a sense of humor, and a willingness to stand up to cruelty. But Jack is unfortunately the object of tormenting by two racist American soldiers. They menace him to the point that Jack decides to go AWOL, and Rex helps him with two other kids he has befriended: a half-Maori girl named Dawn and a Dalmatian named Leo. Although one School Library Journal critic found Jack to be too "kind, generous, and sensitive" to be entirely realistic, the reviewer nevertheless praised the "action-packed novel filled with well-developed characters." And a Kirkus Reviews contributor called The Champion a "thoughtful examination of wartime pressures and prejudices in a small, vividly portrayed New Zealand Community."
Readers meet an outsider of a different kind in the award-winning thriller The Fat Man. Set in the 1930s in the fictional town of Loomis, the outcast of the story is Herbert Muskie, a man who returns to New Zealand from the United States to wreak revenge against the people who tormented him when he was young because he was overweight. Still overweight but much stronger now, Muskie forces twelve-year-old Colin Potter to help him in his plot to destroy not only members of his family but also Colin's parents, who were Muskie's classmates when he was in school. Many of the adults surrounding Colin seem to refuse to see Muskie's twisted intentions, even as they build up to murder. When the boy finally works up the courage to tell his mother what is going on he is kidnaped by Muskie. Described by a Publishers Weekly critic as a "seamlessly crafted psychological thriller," The Fat Man also captures the mood of Depression-era New Zealand. Critics in general praised both the plot and characterization in the book. Miriam Lang Budin, for example, wrote in School Library Journal that the novel's "tension and fascinating portrait of a psychopathic personality" makes the story a definite "pageturner"; and Booklist critic Michael Cart asserted that "Gee once again demonstrates his extraordinary talent for psychologically acute characterization."
In a somewhat more sedate tale, Gee returns to the town of Loomis in Orchard Street, which is set in the year 1951. Very much a time-period novel, the story is more about life after World War II and the coming-ofage of the narrator, Austin, than it is about the historical strike that occurs as a backdrop to the story. Gee paints a lively portrait of a neighborhood where "various dubious activities (dubious by 1951 standards anyway)," as Magpies critic Trevor Agnew put it, are perpetrated by a variety of colorful characters. Some, such as a bookie, violate the law; others violate sexual mores; and still others fight against the pressures of religious conformity. What is central to this melange of people and episodes, however, is the neighbors' sense of community. "Despite stark differences of values and beliefs," wrote Reading Time reviewer John McKenzie, "when the chips are down, the community rallies together" in a tale by a writer who is a "master storyteller."
While many of Gee's novels for young adults use historical settings or are mysteries, such as The Fire-Raiser, the author was actually first inspired to write for younger audiences when he read a fantasy novel.
"I came rather late to the writing of children's books," he once remarked, "and to fantasy science fiction almost by accident. A friend lent me Alan Garner's The Weirdstone of Brisingamen. I read it with great enjoyment and decided it was the sort of thing I'd like to write myself." His first effort in the genre is Under the Mountain, the creepy tale of giant alien worms that live under an Auckland volcano and plan to turn Earth into a giant mud ball so it is more to their liking. The only obstacle standing in their way are eleven-year-old twins Rachel and Theo. The twins, telepaths, must locate two magical stones and return them to another alien named "Mr. Jones," who alone has the ability to defeat the worms. Although a picky reader might wonder how the aliens arrived on Earth in the first place, critics generally felt that the plot of Under the Mountain is exciting enough to keep young readers turning pages. Also, as D. A. Young pointed out in Junior Bookshelf, "New Zealand children will appreciate a story set in a country they know rather than the home counties of Mother England."
Gee also uses a magical object in his next fantasy adventure, The World around the Corner, in which young Caroline discovers a pair of magical spectacles that are an important weapon for the Sun and Moon elves against the evil Grimbles and their dragon made of poisonous gas. However, his most ambitious fantasy work for young adults is the "O" trilogy, which includes The Halfmen of O, The Priests of Ferris, and Motherstone. As with The World around the Corner, the trilogy involves young protagonists who travel to a fantasy world to help restore the balance between good and evil in a way some reviewers have compared to C. S. Lewis's "Chronicles of Narnia." The major theme of the "O" trilogy, however, is the idea that absolute power is a corrupting force. The world of O is a place where the two sides of human nature have been split: some people, such as the Halfmen, are all evil, while others, including the Birdfolk and Stonefolk, are all good. However, when the Halfmen try to take over their world by killing all the good people, an imbalance occurs that threatens to destroy all. Into the fray steps young Susan Ferris, who has been predestined to restore order to O, and her cousin Nick Quinn, who comes along to protect her. Susan, in a storyline similar to that of Under the Mountain, must find two half stones and return them to the Motherstone in the heart of Darkland. While most of the characters in The Half-men of O are either good or bad, one, Jimmy Jaspers, starts off as a selfish prospector from Earth who later amends his ways to help the people of O.
In a device similar to one used in the Narnia books, time passes much more swiftly in O than it does in our world, and when Susan has to return to O again in The Priests of Ferris, she has aged only one year while one hundred years of history have transpired in O. In O, she discovers, a cult has been founded in her name, but it is only a cover used by the priests so that they may more easily control the people of O in what has, essentially, become a police state. Although Susan tries to overthrow the cult using peaceful means, the tyrannical high priest will not allow it; Susan and Nick, along with Jimmy Jaspers and Jaspers's bearlike friend Varg, resort to force after all to defeat the high priest and his minions. In the final volume of the trilogy, Motherstone, the two sides of O have become so strong that they threaten to destroy their world with powerful weapons, and so Susan and Nick come up with the radical solution of reverting their civilization back to the stone age. "The story's message is a bleak one," according to Ruth S. Vose in School Library Journal: "human beings must save themselves from their own destructive natures."
While some reviewers have found flaws in the "O" trilogy, critics have not been quick to dismiss it as merely light reading. Karen Stang Hanley complained in Booklist that while Susan is a well-developed protagonist, the other characters in the first book seem "vague" by comparison. However, many reviewers have found much to praise. "Gee has created a unique environment and his story soars with excitement," asserted School Library Journal contributor Tony Ficociello, while David Bennett commented in Books for Keeps that "all fantasy readers will relish" The Priests of Ferris. "It is always tempting to approach this kind of book in a frivolous mood," concluded Marcus Crouch in a Junior Bookshelf review, "but this would be to misjudge a formidable talent. Maurice Gee … is a remarkable writer, who uses the conventions of the outworld romance both to tell a most compelling story and to make some valid social comments."
Throughout all of his books, Gee has maintained an acknowledged talent for characterization, plot, and setting. His themes regarding social and familial conflicts and the struggle of right against wrong are universal, even though his stories are usually either set in his native New Zealand or in fantasy worlds. But although they depict some serious concepts, Gee also throws in a good measure of humor and wit into his books. As the author once wrote, "Although I don't think of my writing in terms of meaning, statement, etc., I have to agree with the critic who identifies my themes as judgment and growth. What I would like to say is that my books are meant to be funny in parts. Not many people have noticed this."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Children's Literature Review, Volume 56, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1999, pp. 99-109.
Contemporary Novelists, 7th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 2001.
Hill, David, Introducing Maurice Gee, Longman Paul (Auckland, New Zealand), 1981.
Manhire, Bill, Maurice Gee, Oxford University Press (Auckland, New Zealand), 1986.
Reference Guide to Short Fiction, 2nd edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1999.
Robinson, Roger, and Nelson Wattie, The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Literature, Oxford University Press (Auckland, New Zealand), 1999.
St. James Guide to Children's Writers, 5th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1999.
Williams, Mark, Leaving the Highway: Six Contemporary New Zealand Novelists, Auckland University Press (Auckland, New Zealand), 1990.
Australian and New Zealand Studies in Canada, spring, 1990.
Booklist, July, 1983, Karen Stang Hanley, review of The Halfmen of O, p. 1400; October 15, 1992, Hazel Rochman, review of The Fire-Raiser, p. 424; October 1, 1993, Sheilamae O'Hara, review of The Champion, p. 341; December 15, 1997, Michael Cart, review of The Fat Man, p. 693; May 1, 2001, Stephanie Zvirin, review of The Fire-Raiser and The Fat Man, p. 1610; November 1, 2001, Hazel Rochman, review of The Fire-Raiser, p. 475.
Book Report, May-June, 1998, William McLaughlin, review of The Fat Man, p. 33.
Books for Keeps, November, 1987, David Bennett, review of The Priests of Ferris, p. 23.
Books for Your Children, autumn-winter, 1981, review of The World around the Corner, p. 23.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, October, 1984, Zena Sutherland, review of The World around the Corner, p. 25; December, 1992, Roger Sutton, review of The Fire-Raiser, p. 111; November, 1993, Deborah Stevenson, review of The Champion, pp. 80-81.
Daily Telegraph (London, England), February 2, 2002, Louise Carpenter, "She'll Make You Create."
Growing Point, March, 1980, Margery Fisher, review of Under the Mountain, pp. 3652-3653; January, 1986, Margery Fisher, review of The Priests of Ferris, pp. 4543-4546.
Guardian (London, England), March 9, 2002, Nicola Walker, review of Ellie and the Shadow Man, p. 10.
Horn Book, March-April, 1993, Nancy Vasilakis, review of The Fire-Raiser, p. 210; January-February, 1998, Nancy Vasilakis, review of The Fat Man, p. 70.
Islands, March, 1977.
Junior Bookshelf, August, 1980, D. A. Young, review of Under the Mountain, p. 189; August, 1981, R. Baines, review of The World around the Corner, p. 150; December, 1982, A. R. Williams, review of The Halfmen of O, p. 230; December, 1985, Marcus Crouch, review of The Priests of Ferris, p. 276; April, 1986, A. R. Williams, review of Motherstone, p. 77.
Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 1992, review of The Fire-Raiser, p. 1309; October 1, 1993, review of The Champion, p. 1273.
Landfall, September, 1984.
Magpies, March, 1999, Trevor Agnew, review of Orchard Street, p. 38.
Publishers Weekly, September 27, 1993, p. 64; September 27, 1993, review of The Champion, p. 64; October 27, 1997, review of The Fat Man, p. 77.
Reading Time, November, 1998, John McKenzie, review of Orchard Street, pp. 32-33.
School Library Journal, March, 1980, Stephen Hurd, review of Under the Mountain, p. 140; October, 1981, Lorraine Douglas, review of The World around the Corner, p. 141; September, 1983, Tony Ficociello, review of The Halfmen of O, p. 134; April, 1985, Annette Curtis Klause, review of The World Around the Corner, p. 87; November, 1986, Ruth S. Vose, review of Motherstone, p. 100; September, 1992, Gerry Larson, review of The Fire-Raiser, p. 277; October, 1993, Jack Forman, review of The Champion, pp. 148, 151; November, 1997, Miriam Lang Budin, review of The Fat Man, p. 118.
Sunday Times (London, England), March 31, 2002, Alex Clark, "At a Glance," p. 45.
Times (London, England), December 24, 1998, Elaine Feinstein, "Thin Love in a Strange Island," p. 28.
Times Literary Supplement, March 28, 1980; November 6, 1998, Michael Kerrigan, review of Live Bodies, p. 26; March 15, 2002, Ranti Williams, "Age and Station," p. 25.
Voice of Youth Advocates, December, 1992, Florence H. Munat, review of The Fire-Raiser, p. 277; February, 1994, Judith N. Mitchell, review of The Champion, p. 366.
World Literature Written in English, Volume 23, number 1, 1984.
New Zealand Book Council Web site,http://www.vuw.ac.nz/nzbookcouncil/ (July 24, 2003).*