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Maurice Duggan

Maurice Duggan (1922–1974) was born and educated in Auckland. His father, an Irish immigrant, was manager of George Courts & Sons department store. Best known for his adult writing and poetry, Duggan’s one major children’s work won the Esther Glen Award. Falter Tom and the Water Boy (1957) was one of New Zealand’s first internationally successful children’s books. As Tom Fitzgibbon notes in Tea Tree and Ironsands (1986), ‘We are fortunate that he for a short while turned his talents to writing for children. Of the stories, Falter Tom and the Water Boy is undoubtedly a classic. Its style, characterization, and storylines are superb and the fantasy expresses a mystery which is usually found in only the greatest literature.’

Selected bibliography:
  • Falter Tom and the Water Boy illustrated by Kenneth Rowell (Criterion Books, Faber & Faber & Paul’s Book Arcade 1958).
  • Falter Tom and the Water Boy illustrated by Faith Jaques (Kestrel Books with Longman Paul 1974).
  • The Fabulous McFanes and Other Children’s Stories illustrated by Richard Kennedy (Cape Catley 1974).
  • Falter Tom and the Water Boy illustrated by Gwenda Turner (Penguin 1984).
  • Esther Glen Medal 1959 for Falter Tom and the Water Boy.
  • Robert Burns Fellowship 1960.


The Storylines Trust and Foundation together comprise New Zealand's only national organisation working year-round specifically to promote children's and young adult literature through an annual Festival in six regions, author awards, publications, advocacy and other activities ... 



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