Sylvia Ashton-Warner

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Erin Mercer (Massey University)

Sylvia Ashton-Warner is one of New Zealand’s most internationally successful authors. Two of her novels -- Spinster (1958) and Incense to Idols (1960) – featured on Time magazine’s best books list, with the former proving so popular internationally that a Hollywood film version was made starring Shirley MacLaine. The Saturday Review deemed Spinster the herald of a “fresh voice” capable of provoking in readers “an exhilarating sense of personal discovery” (Wilson Ross 32), while the Commonweal described Incense to Idols as “truly memorable” (Cosman 294), praising its convincing characterisation and notable technical achievements. The New York Times Book Review’s r…

2152 words

Citation: Mercer, Erin. "Sylvia Ashton-Warner". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 May 2016 [, accessed 29 January 2023.]

165 Sylvia Ashton-Warner 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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