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King a giant of NZ literature


King a giant of NZ literature

Historian Michael King was a true giant of New Zealand literature and we will be much the poorer for his death, says National Party Leader Don Brash.

King, 59, died along with his wife in a car crash near Maramarua yesterday. He is widely regarded as New Zealand's leading biographer and historian. He wrote 34 books and won a wide range of awards for this work, and for his journalism and television documentaries.

"He contributed hugely to New Zealand literature, including his critically acclaimed biography of Janet Frame, Wrestling With the Angel, through to Moriori, and lately with his definitive Penguin History of New Zealand," says Dr Brash.

"He was surely our leading biographer, and always tested the boundaries. Witness his works on Te Puea, Whina Cooper, and Frank Sargesson.

"In many ways he went where few before him had dared tread, and it was perhaps his last work, the Penguin History of New Zealand, that will define him. He caused many of us to re-think our views on our country.

"His death in a car crash is indeed a cruel twist of fate, as I am told he had just received a clean bill of health after battling throat cancer for some time.

"This is a sad day for readers and writers", says Dr Brash.

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