25 Mar 2013

Writer Barbara Anderson dies at 86

9:15 am on 25 March 2013

The writer Barbara Anderson has died in Auckland at the age of 86, after a short illness.

Anderson, whose novels include Portrait of the Artist's Wife, The House Guest, Proud Garments and Girls' High, was a late starter in the writing world: she wrote her first book when she was 63 after attending Bill Manhire's creative writing course at Victoria University.

Her final work was her autobiography, which was published in 2008.

Her publisher, Fergus Barrowman of Victoria University Press, says she will be remembered for her outlook on New Zealand life.

"No one else has captured the social texture of New Zealand with the same vivacity and wit as Barbara," Mr Barrowman says. "One of the great things about her was that she could be comic and highly entertaining while never losing sight of the serious undercurrents in her fiction."

Funeral plans have yet to be arranged.

Barbara Anderson is survived by one of her two sons.