New Zealand Hidden Gems: Jane Mander
SATURDAY 8 MAY 2021, 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM
THE JOY COWLEY ROOM, THE ROYAL HOTEL
According to Lydia Wevers, Jane Mander is best known for her 1920 novel The Story of a New Zealand River, widely thought to be the underlying narrative for Jane Campion’s The Piano. She published six novels in the 1920s when she was in her thirties which, like her, travelled through New Zealand colonial landscapes to New York and London. The daughter of an MP, sawmiller and newspaper owner, she became the editor of the Dargaville Times before leaving for Sydney in 1910 where she worked as a journalist and then New York two years later to study at Columbia. Mander was a suffragette and a free thinker and wrote against New Zealand’s prevailing puritanism and repressive female culture. Her novels reflect the life she probably wanted to live.