Maurice Shadbolt is one of the most accomplished authors to come out of New Zealand. He helped found modern New Zealand literature by encouraging his compatriots to base their writing on their own myths and histories, as he does in many of his novels, plays, and short stories. Before establishing himself as an author, Shadbolt worked as a journalist and a documentary scriptwriter for NZ National Film Unit, careers that allowed him to explore his country and deepen his appreciation for its landscape and culture. He received almost every major literary prize in New Zealand, some more than once. In 2002, two years before his death from Alzheimer’s, he received the AW Reed Lifetime Achievement Award.