Thomas Kennerly Wolfe, one of America’s leading literary figures, born 2 March 1930, has died on 14 May 2018. He was perhaps best known for his novel The Bonfire of the Vanities which was about the fall of a young Wall Street trader. It is often described as the novel that defined the 80’s and turned Wolfe into a superstar author, a role he relished with his famous flamboyant suits. He was however very far from a one book wonder. The Right Stuff was his non-fiction account of America’s first manned space flights and was turned into a multiple Oscar winning movie. Likewise, his account of Ken Kesey and the merry pranksters’ LSD soaked voyage of discovery across America in the sixties came to be one of the books that defined the flower power generation in much the same way as The Bonfire of the Vanities did for the 80s.
The literary world will be a much sadder place after the announcement of the death of Anita Shreve. She was a very popular, internationally acclaimed, bestselling author. Before becoming a full time novelist she was a teacher and a journalist. She really came into the public arena with “The weight of water” published in 1997 which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and turned into a film by Oscar winning director Kathryn Bigelow. Her most recent novel was “The stars are fire” published in 2017. Her books often revolved around the after effects of one single dramatic event and she liked to explore the subtleties of human relationships in often a highly nuanced and skilled fashion.
William Trevor, the Irish author has died at 88 years. A prolific fiction writer, he was born in Ireland, and lived the later part of his life in England. His first novel was published in 1958, with 18 titles following. He also published 18 short story collections, 6 plays and 3 works of non-fiction. He won the Hawthornden Prize for literature in 1964 for his novel titled The Old Boys. He won the Whitbread Prize three times, and was nominated for the Booker Prize five times. He won the American short story O. Henry Award four times. His last published novel, titled Love and Summer was published in 2009.
It is with great sadness the death of James McNeish was announced. He was one of New Zealand’s most prolific writers of fiction, non-fiction, plays, essays, articles and reviews. His first novel, titled Mackenzie was published in 1970 and his eighth, titled The Crime of Huey Dunstan was published on 2010. In 2010 he was awarded the Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Celia Lashlie, who was well known as a researcher and social commentator, died on the 16th February 2015 after a short illness. Celia’s work in social justice started in the probation service. In December 1985 she started as the first woman to work as a prison officer in a male prison in New Zealand and worked for the Prison Service for 15 years. Her last role for the Prison Service was at the Christchurch Women’s Prison as a manager. She left that position in September 1999.
She was well known for her talks on raising teenage boys, and on social justice issues and authored three books that are available here at Wellington City Libraries; The Journey to Prison: Who goes and why, He’ll Be Ok, Growing Gorgeous Boys into Good Men and The Power of Mothers: Releasing Our Children. In September 2004, she completed the ‘Good Man’ project. The project aimed to create a working definition of what makes a good man in the 21st century.
Up until her illness she was working on projects linked to improving the lives of at-risk children and empowering families to find their own solutions to the challenges they face. Celia and her family hoped that this work would continue with public support and will be a testament to her great contribution to social justice and improving the lives of at-risk families, aiding the reduction of crime and poverty in this country and driven by her belief that “every child is born pure and filled with their own particular brand of magic”.
Celia had two children and three grandchildren.
The journey to prison : who goes and why / Celia Lashlie.
‘There is a blond, angelic-faced five year old sitting in a classroom in New Zealand and he is coming to prison…on his way, he will probably kill someone.’ With these words Celia Lashlie caused a media storm that propeeled her into the headlines for weeks during 2001. Now she tells the story from her point of view, then goes on to look at the whole question of the origins issue of crime in New Zealand, the way we punish offenders, the effectiveness of prison (for both men and women), parental responsibility, the role of drugs, where education comes in and the role of state institutions. Underpinning her argument is the need for the community as a whole to take responsibility for the incidence of crime in our society. With her background as a prison officer in male prisons and manager of a female prison, Celia Lashlie is uniquely placed to offer both real facts and wise insights that will inform the often unenlightened debate about crime and punishment in New Zealand. (Abridged from back cover)
He’ll be OK : growing gorgeous boys into good men / Celia Lashlie.
“Adolescent boys – they seem to disappear into another world where they barely communicate and where fast cars, alcohol and drugs are constant temptations. Will they survive to become good men? How can parents and schools understand them and help them through this difficult and dangerous time? Celia Lashlie has some of the answers. After years of working in the prison service she knows what can happen when boys make the wrong choices. She also knows what it is like to be a parent – she raised a son on her own and feared for his survival. During the recent Good Man Project she talked to 180 classes of boys throughout New Zealand, and what she found was surprising, amusing , and in some cases, frightening. In this funny, honest, no-nonsense book Celia Lashlie reveals what goes on inside the world of boys, and that it is an entirely different world from that of girls. With clarity and insight she offers parents – especially mothers – practical and reassuring advice on raising their boys to become good, loving, articulate men.” (Abridged from back cover)
The power of mothers : releasing our children / Celia Lashlie.
“A hard-hitting look at crime and criminal families and the women with the power to change things – if we let them. The Power of Mothers is a wake up call to voter and politician, parent and grandparent, social agency and lobby group alike. We must do more than build prisons to hold the children we fail – and we must start now.” (Abridged from back cover)
Ralph Hotere, or Hone Papita Raukura, was a prominent Māori artist and widely recognised as one of New Zealand’s most important artists. He was born in Mitimiti, Northland and was of Te Aupōuri and Te Rarawa decent. Known as a “warrior artist”, he was renowned for his passionately political artworks, as he provocatively portrayed some of New Zealand’s most divisive historical events. He is attributed with having helped shape New Zealand’s cultural identity, and was accordingly appointed to the Order of New Zealand in the New Year Honours 2012 for services to New Zealand. He passed away on 24 February 2013 at age 81, and was mourned and remembered in a large service in Dunedin on 28 February.
We have many books about Ralph Hotere here at the library:
As well as these, we have a DVD about Ralph Hotere:
And even a video!
Hotere [videorecording] / a Paradise Films production ; written & directed by Merata Mita.
Discusses the artwork of New Zealand’s most famous contemporary Māori artist, Ralph Hotere. Suggested audience: general.
We also have a full collection at Central Library of Art New Zealand magazines, dating back to 1976. Ralph Hotere features in a huge number of them. If you need assistance to access the collection, just ask at any of our Central Library enquiries desks and we’ll be glad to help.
The American science fiction writer Harry Harrison has died aged 87. A prolific writer, he began his literary career writing for American comics and Science Fiction Magazines. His first novel Deathworld was published in 1960, 58 novels were to follow, also 9 collections of short stories, plus novellas, and non-fiction works. He edited numerous Science Fiction anthologies, many with fellow writer Brian Aldiss. His most well know novels were, The Stainless Steel Rat, Bill, the Galactic Hero and Deathworld, all series. All these novels are satirical and witty. Harry Harrison, was a dedicated advocate for the international language Esperanto, and includes some in his early novels. His last novel titled, The Stainless Steel Rat Returns was published in 2010.
Gore Vidal, the American writer has died aged 86 years. A prolific writer, social and political commentator, he published his first novel titled Williwaw in 1946. Twenty-four novels followed, these included a series of American historical fiction. He was also an accomplished journalist, screenwriter and playwright, but was best known for his numerous essays. His last published fiction was a collection of short stories titled Clouds and Eclipses; this was a republication of a 1956 collection titled A Thirsty Evil, with one new story added.
The American science fiction, fantasy, horror and mystery writer, Ray Bradbury has died aged 91. He was born in Illinois in 1921. His first major works, The Martian Chronicles, were published in the 1950s. He continued his distinguished writing career, with another 26 published novels, and over 600 short stories. He also wrote for television, with some of his stories being adapted for programmes such as The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. His best known novels were also adapted to film. Fahrenheit 451 (published in 1954) was adapted to film in 1966, The Illustrated Man, three short stories, was adapted in 1969, and the horror novel, Something Wicked This Way Comes (published in 1969) was released as a movie in 1983.
The well-known British Science Fiction author John Christopher has died aged 90. His real name was Christopher Samuel Youd, but he wrote under eight pseudonyms, with John Christopher, being the best known. A prolific writer, he was awarded the Guardian Award in 1976 for his children’s novel, The Guardians. His first major success as a writer came with his science fiction novel, The Death of Grass, published in 1956 and republished in 2009. It was adapted into film in 1970, as No Blade of Grass. He began writing science fiction for young adults in 1966, with the Tripods Trilogy, that became a quartet with A Pool of Fire, published in 1988. The Tripods novels were adapted into a television series.