Introducing Tessa Duder
I think Night Race to Kawau was one of my favourite books many years ago – and I got four copies of Alex the Christmas after it was published, being a swimmer at the time. Alex certainly felt like a very popular book at the time and it was consequently made into a movie.
“You need stamina to write fiction.” ~ Tessa Duder (p.51, Beneath Southern Skies)
Born in 1940, she has lived in NZ, the UK, Pakistan and Malaysia and described herself as “a compulsive reader and library user from about age three.” (p.51, Duder, Tessa, pp.50-53 Tom Fitzgibbon and Barbara Spiers (1993) Beneath Southern Skies: New Zealand Children’s Book Authors & Illustrators. Ashton Scholastic: Auckland)
Duder’s own site, shows her to have been prolific and varied in her writing; all ages are represented and many genres, too.
Her work does evidence a certain love affair with the water (she competed at an international level in swimming) and, perhaps, with the joy of competition, but she has edited collections, written poetry, plays and biographies (Margaret Mahy!) and generally done the rounds.
She has won numerous awards, including the Katherine Mansfield Award (2003) and both the Esther Glen Award and the New Zealand Post awards multiple times.