Title: The New Zealand Novel 1860-1965

Author: Joan Stevens

Publication details: Reed Publishing (NZ) Ltd, 1966

Digital publication kindly authorised by: Sylvia Johnston

Part of: New Zealand Texts Collection

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The New Zealand Novel 1860-1965

Growing up Again

Growing up Again. Adolescent agonies are probably natural quarries for first novels by young novelists; certainly they haunt our literary landscape in outrageous quantities. When, however, mature writers return again and again to the theme, one is moved to ask why. Is our writers' preoccupation with it a kind of mirror image of our growing pains as a people, a necessary part of the process of finding ourselves in a literature? Certainly it is only a post-nineteenth-century phenomenon; those hardy pioneers to whom the first two chapters were devoted sprang up fully adult with their pens in confident untroubled hands. Only in this century has the topic of childhood been so noticeable; Katherine Mansfield may be said to have started the trend, perhaps.*