Diana Menefy is a writer of fiction and non-fiction for both children and adults. Menefy enjoys bringing history alive for readers by using specific and vitalizing detail. Her titles for children are River Crossing (2001), Shadow of the Boyd (2010) and 1915 Wounds of War (2015). Her titles for adults include Hukerenui... in the beginning (1989); Kamo: The Story of a Village (1994); You Shall Be My People (1997); and Whangarei Hospital: A Century of Service 1901-2001 (2001). Menefy's children's stories have appeared in many Learning Media publications, and she has also published short stories for adults.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Menefy, Diana (1947 –) is a writer of fiction and non-fiction for children and adults. Her short stories for adults have appeared in three anthologies and others have been broadcast on Radio NZ. An article on hydrographic surveying she wrote for New Zealand Geographic magazine was later reprinted by the New Zealand Navy.
Her titles for adults include four historical studies: Hukerenui... in the beginning (1989); Kamo: The Story of a Village (1994); You Shall Be My People (1997); and Whangarei Hospital: A Century of Service 1901-2001 (2001). Kamo: The Story of a Village is described as "a splendid addition to the growing documentation of Northland's history." Whangarei Hospital: A Century of Service 1901-2001 (2001) is described as a 'detailed, personal, and exhaustive history of the Whangarei Hospital, the people who worked there and what it had meant to our community.' A reviewer comments that 'the book achieves perfectly what it sets out to do.'
Her guide to greenstone, Pounamu: New Zealand Jade (1995) has been translated into Japanese. A reviewer describes it as 'a concise and very readable book covering all aspects of New Zealand jade from the chemical composition of nephrite, Māori mythology and traditional designs, through to the intricacy of modern design and carving.'
Kapai: New Zealand Kauri Gum (2008) co-authored with artist Neil Hanna is a guide to kauri gum that covers all aspects using the same successful format at Pounamu: New Zealand Jade. Diana Menefy also took most of the photographs in the book.
Diana Menefy's children's stories and articles appear mostly in Learning Media publications. Her junior novel, River Crossing (2001), is 'an exciting read in an authentic New Zealand voice.' Another reviewer says, 'Though River Crossing is full of action and rural 'Boys' Own' fun, such as fishing, possum shooting and a dramatic river rescue, Menefy still manages to bring a lovely sensitivity to Josh's character as he comes to terms with his friend's death in a refreshingly unsentimental and understanding way.'
Her novel, Shadow of the Boyd (HarperCollins), was published in 2010. It was shortlisted for the NZ Post Children’s Book Awards in 2011 and won the LIANZA Esther Glen Medal that year.
Her latest novel 1915 Wounds of War (Scholastic) is the second in the Scholastic Kiwis at War series and was released in April 2015.
MEDIA LINKS AND CLIPS
- Diana Menefy is available for school visits as part of the Book Council's Writers in Schools programme.
- Diana Menefy is featured in the Spring 2001 issue of BRAT: Books for Readers and Teachers.
- Diana Menefy's website
Updated April 2015.