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Marshall, Heather
Writer's File

Heather Marshall

Marshall, Heather
In brief
Heather Marshall is a fiction writer, moving dexterously between literature for adults and young adults. Her writing is often focused on the lives of girls and women, set against historical events in New Zealand. Her novels include Second-Hand Children (1984), Secret Diary of a Telephonist (1985) and Anneliese (1988). Her young adult fiction titles include Picking up the Pieces (1993), a finalist in the Esther Glen Awards. Her fiction has been extensively adapted for radio broadcast.


Marshall, Heather (1927– ), writes novels and young adults’ fiction, mostly about the lives of girls and women set against historical events of New Zealand in her lifetime.

Thus Second-Hand Children (1984) describes growing up during the Depression, A Nest of Cuckoos (1985) narrates a widow’s struggle for independent identity, Secret Diary of a Telephonist (1985) is a satire on business derived from experience in personnel management (1974–84) and Anneliese (1988), probably the most substantial, tells the tragic story of an anorexic girl living through World War 2 in New Zealand, her problems linked with newsreels of Jewish sufferings, the commonplace news of death of men overseas and the complications of American servicemen at home. The novels are all easy reading and have been readily adapted for radio.Her young adult books include Gemma, Brooke and Madeleine (1988), Marie on Her Own (1990) and Picking Up the Pieces (1993), a finalist in the Esther Glen Awards.

Born in Otautau, Southland, Marshall has lived since 1932 in Lower Hutt, where she brought up her family and now lives with cats who have more than once (like the ill-fated Wilfred in Anneliese) appeared in her fiction.



Death of a Conscience (2002) is described as a dark, psychological drama that will keep you guessing right to the end.