The Tricksters by Margaret Mahy Young Adult Novel Study

The Tricksters is a young adult novel by New Zealand author Margaret Mahy, first published in 1986. Mahy wrote many stories for children, but The Tricksters seems to be one frequently talked about in scholarship circles, alongside The Changeover and The Haunting, which both won The Carnegie Medal. The Tricksters is a rare example of……

Jane Campion’s The Piano Film Study

The Piano (1993) is a lyrical, fairytale film written and directed by Jane Campion, set and filmed in New Zealand near the beginning of white colonisation. SETTING OF THE PIANO Like many creative New Zealanders, Campion comes from Wellington. I don’t know why so much creativity comes out of the Wellington region, but I suspect……

How Pearl Button Was Kidnapped by Katherine Mansfield Short Story Analysis

“How Pearl Button Was Kidnapped” is a modernist short story by Katherine Mansfield, published 1912. At its heart, “Pearl Button” is a story about a clash of two cultures seen through a child’s eyes. This story plays out as a duality of restriction and freedom. The European settlers are restricted while the Māori people enjoy……

When Everyone Else Is A Ghost

You may not believe in ghosts to enjoy ghost stories. I don’t either. But once you understand how ghost stories work, you’ll understand how tools of persuasion are used in other realms. Studying the ghost story is a fun way to study the techniques of persuasion. Ghost stories have plenty of other functions, too. There……

The Woman At The Store by Katherine Mansfield Short Story Analysis

“The Woman At The Store” (1912) is one of Mansfield’s earlier stories, written for the magazine Rhythm. The aesthetic goal of this magazine was pity, brutality and a carefully wrought plot with adequate foreshadowing. It is now thought that this story is far from Mansfield’s best work. This short story has been criticised for its……

At The Bay by Katherine Mansfield Short Story Analysis

Albert Chevallier Tayler - The Mirror 1914

“At the Bay” (1921) is considered one of Mansfield’s best short stories, by a writer at the height of her powers. This is one of the three about the Burnell family, who also star in “Prelude” and “The Doll’s House”. “At The Bay” is an interesting case study for writers, for so many reasons. Notably:……

Prelude by Katherine Mansfield Short Story Analysis

Albert Chevallier Tayler - The Quiet Hour

Katherine Mansfield wrote “Prelude” in 1916 then revised it the following year. “Prelude” is the first in a trilogy of interlinked short stories. The other stories starring the Burnell family are “At the Bay” and “The Doll’s House”. Although Mansfield also populates “The Doll’s House” with the same characters, the themes and motifs of “At The……