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Beaglehole, Ann
Writer's File

Ann Beaglehole

Wellington - Te Whanganui-a-Tara
Beaglehole, Ann
In brief
Ann Beaglehole is a historian and fiction writer. Her first novel, Replacement Girl, was published in 2002. Penny Bieder wrote that the novel is, ‘written with a clever, light touch and a perceptive knowledge and memory of childhood.’ Beaglehole has worked variously as a historian, policy analyst, researcher, counsellor, and a lecturer. Her historical work has focused on European refugees before and after WW2. She has published numerous essays and journal articles, and she has won a variety of distinguished awards and prizes.
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Beaglehole, Ann (1948-) is a historian who published her first novel, Replacement Girl, in 2002.

Born in Siklos, Hungary, Beaglehole immigrated to New Zealand in 1956. She settled in Wellington and eventually went on to study at Victoria University of Wellington earning an M.A. (with distinction) in History, a Ph.D in History, as well as M.A. in Bill Manhire’s Creative Writing Programme.

Beaglehole published her first novel, Replacement Girl, in 2002. The novel takes as its subject the story of a young Hungarian woman who arrives in New Zealand in the 1950s. Penny Bieder in the Weekend Herald writes that the novel is 'written with a clever, light touch and a perceptive knowledge and memory of childhood born of close observation.' Sue Edmonds in the Waikato Times writes, 'I found this book almost painfully gripping to read, both because of the vividness of the style, but also because it so closely paralleled my own life experience as an immigrant of the 1950s, and my search for identity and a sense of belonging.'

Professionally Beaglehole has worked as an historian, policy analyst, researcher, counsellor, and a lecturer. She has worked for Te Puni Kokiri, Ministry of Māori Development as a Senior Policy Analyst, and for the Office of Ethnic Affairs. Currently she is doing research for the Waitangi Tribunal.

In a long and successful career, Beaglehole has published widely. Much of this work concerns itself with the experience of Central European refugees in Europe during WW2, and in New Zealand after the war. Her books on these subjects include A Small Price to Pay: Refugees from Hitler in New Zealand, 1936-1946 (1988), Facing the Past: Looking Back at Refugee Childhood in New Zealand (1990) and Far from the Promised Land? Being Jewish in New Zealand (1995).

In a review of Facing the Past, Theresa Sawicka in the Dominion Post describes Beaglehole’s work as being about 'the urge to connect with this unknown past and a need to make sense of it', a comment that identifies a constant thread in Beaglehole’s work.

Beaglehole’s published work also includes The History of the Eastern Bays of Wellington Harbour (2001). She has contributed articles and essays to journals, the New Dictionary of New Zealand Biography and edited collections. Her work has appeared in Shifting Centres: Women and Migration in New Zealand History (2002), Out of the Shadow of War: The German Connection with New Zealand in the Twentieth Century (1998), Book and Print in New Zealand: A Guide to Print Culture in Aotearoa (1997), and Zeal and Crusade: The Modern Movement in Wellington (1996). Her work has also appeared in the Stout Centre Review, Menorah: Australian Journal of Jewish Studies, and New Settlers and Multicultural Education Issues.

Ann Beaglehole has received numerous awards including the Goethe-Institute Scholarship as Cultural Ambassador in Berlin (2001), the Department of Internal Affairs, Award in Oral History International Research Institute on Jewish Women at Brandies University (2000), New Zealand Founders’ Society Annual Research Award for historical research (1998), New Zealand History Research Trust Fund Award in History (1993), the Claude McCarthy Fellow, Victoria University of Wellington, and the F.P. Wilson Prize for New Zealand History (1986).

Beaglehole was awarded a Research Fellowship at Swinburn University of Technology in Melbourne 2006/2007 and she was also based at the Stout Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington to research and write a book on public policy approaches to refugees and asylum seekers in New Zealand. In 2006 she was awarded the International Writers Residency at Ledig House, New York, to work on a second novel.

Beaglehole lives in Wellington.