Mary teaches in English and Creative Writing (especially life writing) at Massey’s Albany Campus. She was part of a prestigious Marsden Funded project to research the life and work of Robin Hyde a poet, novelist and journalist (1906-1939). Mary’s latest publication is Your Unselfish Kindness an edition of Robin Hyde’s previously unpublished manuscripts that were written between 1933 and 1937 when Hyde was a voluntary patient at Auckland Mental Hospital at Avondale.
Why Robin Hyde?
Robin Hyde grew up during the First World War and witnessed the dislocation and suffering of returnedsoldiers. Hyde wrote two biographical novels around this theme – the first Passport to Hell recounts the story of James Stark (Starkie) his harsh childhood and his soldiering at Gallipoli and in France; the second Nor the Years Condemn follows his and New Zealand’s story post war. Hyde was part of generation that were interested in pacifism – and critical of militarism and its rhetoric. She died in 1939 in London but her novels, poetry, and a journalist account of being behind the war lines in China during the Sino-Japanese War are an important legacy.
Passport to Hell has recently been dramatised for RNZ by Patrick Sandbrook and Mary Paul and should be playing later this year.