Her Life’s Work: Conversations with Five New Zealand Women

Deborah Shepard

Author: Deborah Shepard
Format: Ebook
Pages: 336
Published: October 2009
Specs: 22.4cm x 15.8cm
ISBN: 9781869404437

Available in Ebook

Merimeri Penfold, Margaret Mahy, Anne Salmond, Gaylene Preston and Jacqueline Fahey have carved out impressive careers – as artists, writers, teachers, filmmakers and thinkers. And all have balanced their successful careers with meaningful personal lives.

In Her Life’s Work, Deborah Shepard traces five extraordinary life stories through in-depth interviews. Born between 1920 and 1947, these women saw immense changes in New Zealand society through the second half of the twentieth century that directly affected their working and personal lives. The interviews encompass their families, their education and training opportunities, their friends and mentors, their aspirations, their experiences of motherhood and domesticity and the influence of intimate relationships on their creativity.

Including photographs by Marti Friedlander and an insightful introduction, Her Life’s Work is a candid exploration of the lives and times of these remarkable women.


More about Deborah Shepard


These are conversations worth eavesdropping on . . . The best, and most inspiring, material comes when the women reveal turning points, key professional relationships and hard-won battles of their fascinating lives. – Frances Horton, Metro

These are convivial and fascinating interviews with women who have "carved out an impressive career, balancing society's gender expectations with the pursuit of a meaningful identity through creative work". I couldn't put it down. – Jessica Le Bas, Nelson Mail

Our country would be all the poorer without these women and their achievements, and I would suggest to parents of teenage girls of high-school age who may be troubled about their guidance that this book would make a fine Christmas present. Reading these accounts of determination and persistence might just spark a greater belief. – Bryan James, ODT