Obituary: Bay roots for fiction writer


Celebrated late-blooming New Zealand fiction writer Barbara Anderson, who died on Sunday, was born and raised in Hawke's Bay.

Born Barbara Lillian Romaine on April 14, 1926, she grew up in Hastings, the daughter of parents who met while at work as a medical registrar and a nurse at Napier Hospital.

With memories of Waimarama Beach dear to her heart, she went to university in Dunedin and graduated in science, and later spent some time teaching in Wellington and in Hawke's Bay.

After marrying young naval officer Neil Anderson, she lived in Britain and travelled in Europe, Asia and America before returning to university in Wellington in her mid-50s to study English literature.

Having won a place on Bill Manhire's under-graduate creative writing course in 1983, she had her first book published at the age of 63 in 1989, and there were more than a dozen others by the time her memoir was produced in 2008.

All of her novels were published in New Zealand and the UK and, in 2011, she was awarded the Arts Foundation's Icon Award.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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