50 / Katherine Mansfield


Katherine Mansfield, born Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp, was the daughter of a Wellington banker. She completed her education in London, and later returned there to develop her short-story writing skills. The death of her brother on the Western Front in 1915 prompted references to her New Zealand childhood in such stories as At the Bay, written in Switzerland and first published in 1922. She contracted tuberculosis and died, aged 34, in France, a few weeks before the publication of The Garden Party and Other Stories, which established her reputation. Her writing has been placed at the centre of modernist fiction alongside James Joyce, Virginia Woolf and T.S. Eliot. She is internationally the best known of all New Zealand writers, honoured in this country by the BNZ Katherine Mansfield Memorial Award (established in 1959) and the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship (1970).

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