New Zealand women's writing, gathering momentum since the late '70s, shows no sign of abating. Pre-eminent is Janet Frame, 70 this year, doyen of New Zealand letters since the publication of Living in the Maniototo (1979) and Carpathians (1988) and her autobiography. Frame's contemporaries and co-survivors of pre-feminist Aoteara like poet and children's writer Ruth Dallas, and novelist Ruth Park have also published their autobiographies. Most distinctive is that by Lauris Edmond, known also for her prodigious output: ten volumes of poetry, two plays and a novel since 1975. Edmond came to writing late in life and so did novelist and short story writer Barbera Anderson, whose prose, since her first publication in 1989, has been widely praised for its Flaubertian elegance. Still flourishing are novelist Joy Cowley who now writes short fiction including acclaimed stories for children, poet Fleur Adcock, whose continued attachment to New Zealand, despite living in London, makes her somewhat more than an ex-patriate, and Elizabeth Smither, whose poetry is admired for its linguistic precision and enigmatic flavour, qualities which her recent short stories also display.
Wilson, Janet, Contemporary Women's Writing in New Zealand, Kunapipi, 6(1), 1984.