Rhonda’s books (2)
Bartle, Rhonda (1954 - 2022) was a novelist, journalist and columnist who lived in her home town, New Plymouth. The mother of five children and a full time writer/researcher at Puke Ariki, she fitted fiction writing around family commitments.
Her fiction was widely published and broadcast, often as a result of being shortlisted in literary competitions in New Zealand and abroad. An excerpt from her first novel, 'Greenwich Mean Time', won the 1999 Bank of New Zealand Katherine Mansfield Short Story Award. Judge Vincent O'Sullivan describes the award-winning story as 'utterly contemporary. The story's tone is sustained and amusing, yet set oddly against the grain of the plot, which finally is not funny at all. It adds up to a fresh and admirable piece of writing.'
Her first published short story 'Maternity' appeared in 100 New Zealand Short Short Stories (1997) but she has since had stories in all five volumes. In the 2005 edition, Home: New Short Short Stories by New Zealand Writers, her story 'A Cautionary Tale About Yellow Dogs' was chosen best story by judge Kevin Ireland.
When Bartle's novel The Gospel @ccording to Cole (2000) was published, it received similar praise from reviewers. 'Bartle's strength is believeable, endearing and well-drawn characters,' writes Julie Middleton in the Sunday Star Times. 'Her writing is witty, fresh and snappy, with a sharp eye for the scenes of family life.'
In 2000, Bartle received a grant from Creative New Zealand to work on a second novel, The Lie of the Land, which subsequently won the 2003 Webster Popular Fiction Award donated by Richard Webster. It was published by Hazard Press in 2005.
In September, 2006, Puke Ariki (Taranaki’s combined museum and library) launched a book called Taranaki Stories, jointly written by writer/researchers Rhonda Bartle and Sorrel Hoskin. 'Puke Ariki’s Taranaki Stories is not just another history book. It’s a book about people – human tales of guts and glory, death and danger, peace and power.' (Blurb)