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Introducing Beverley Dunlop

November 12, 2011

Beverley Dunlop, author of The Poetry Girl (1983), was born in 1935 in Takaka, Nelson province, and grew up on farms there and in the Waikato. According to the blurb on her at the back of The Poetry Girl, she trained and worked as a secretary in Hamilton before marrying and moving to Napier. She began writing children’s stories in 1975 and has published both short stories and novels. The Dolphin Boy, her best-selling first novel, was published in 1982. She was awarded the Choysa Bursary for Children’s Writers that same year and completed The Poetry Girl.

Her book Earthquake Town, first published in 1984, is based on the memories of the people who survived the Hawkes Bay Earthquake that measured 7.9 on the Richter Scale, on February 3rd, 1931 and possibly holds current relevance.

It does look like her books may be largely out of print, but they probably still hold spots on many library shelves. Christchurch City Libraries has an interview with her available and links to one of her short stories. Waikato University Library has an online bibliography of short stories that includes titles by Beverley Dunlop. Her work is listed (along with a number of other titles) as ‘New Zealand living history books’ in the website Kath’s Korner, Living Books Lobby. Her work is recommended as an aid by the Kia Kaha program put out on the net by the NZ Police to help schools tackle bullying etc. Claudia Marquis includes Dunlop’s Spirits of the Lake in her article, ‘Haunted Histories; time-slip narratives in the antipodes’, published in Papers and available as a free download.  

There are reviews and stuff on the net: Goodreads, Amazon, etc.

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