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Bruce Stewart (International) assertion Bruce Stewart i(A19214 works by)
Born: Established: 1936 Hamilton, Waikato, North Island,
c
New Zealand,
c
Pacific Region,
;
Gender: Male
Visitor assertion Departed from Australia: ca. 1956
Heritage: Maori
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BiographyHistory

Bruce Stewart, fiction writer and dramatist, of Ngata Raukawa, Te Arawa, grew up in the Wairarapa and was educated at Wairarapa College in Auckland. He has been a bushman, builder, farm worker, prison imnmate, singer, actor and radio announcer in New Zealand before moving to Australia.

He wrote for Australian television from its earliest days (for his 1960 script, Shadow of a Pale Horse, newspaper reviews called him a 'Sydney actor-writer').

In 1956 he settled in England. Stewart began serious writing in 1974 and his prison story, 'Broken Arse', had a great impact at the PEN/Victoria University Conference in 1979. He later rewrote it as a playscript which was performed in Wellington in 1990 and televised and published in 1991. Some of his novels reflect his Australian experiences.

Stewart has lived mainly in Wellington, setting up the first work trust and founding Tapu Te Ranga Marae at Island Bay, a centre for debate and education in Maori culture and the redevelopment of native bush. The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Literature (514) comments that Stewart 'expressed the anger, confused loyalties and spiritual aspiration of late-twentieth century Maori.'

(Source: Adapted from 'Stewart, Bruce (1936- )', The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Literature ed. Roger Robinson and Nelson Wattie (1998): 514-515)

Most Referenced Works

Awards for Works

Shadow of a Pale Horse 1959 single work film/TV historical fiction crime

A murder mystery set in Cobar, New South Wales, in the mid-nineteenth century.

It aired first in the UK as part of anthology series ITV Play of the Week, then in the US as part of anthology series The United States Steel Hour, then in Australia as part of anthology series General Motors Hour.

A contemporary review offers the following detailed synopsis:

'The story starts when one of the young men of the town of Cobar, western New South Wales, is found battered to death. A man called Jem was lying in a drunken stupor beside the body and the murder weapon, an iron bar, is found near the scene of the crime.

'Jem is immediately accused of the crime, but floods prevent his being sent to an established court for trial.

'Coldringer, an old German opal prospector, suggests to the townsfolk that they set up their own court and have the trial in the town.

'The locals agree that the best way of ensuring that Jem is given a fair trial is to make Rigger, the father of the murdered man, defend Jem, and let the prosecution be handed by Kirk, who was Jem's employer.

'Neither Rigger nor Kirk is happy with the townsfolks' decision, but they eventually agree to accept the court arrangements.'

Source: 'Murder Trial in a Bush Town', The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 September 1960, p.7

1961 winner Logie Awards Best Australian Drama For the General Motors Hour production.
Last amended 1 Apr 2014 10:49:15
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