Speaker Date Topic
Tessa Duder Sep 06, 2019
First Map: How James Cook charted Aotearoa New Zealand
First Map: How James Cook charted Aotearoa New Zealand

Tessa trained as a journalist and has published more than forty works of fiction and non-fiction for both children and adults, plays and anthologies. Her best known work Alex (1987) was adapted for a 1993 movie, and recent books include biographies of Margaret Mahy, Sir Peter Blake and Auckland’s ‘First Lady’ Sarah Mathew; in 2019, she is publishing First Map: how James Cook charted Aotearoa New Zealand and a brand-new edition of the four Alex books as Alex The Quartet.  She has appeared at literary festivals in USA, Denmark, Australia and all around New Zealand.

Her awards include a number of children’s fiction prizes, the Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal (1996), the Katherine Mansfield Fellowship to Menton (2003), an Artists to Antarctica award (2007), the OBE (1994) and an honorary doctorate from the University of Waikato (2008). She serves on the boards of the Storylines Children’s Literature Trust and the Spirit of Adventure Trust.  She has four daughters and two grandchildren and lives in Auckland, where she enjoys sailing, concert-going, teaching creative writing and reading. Work-in-progress includes an historical novel for young adults.