Katherine Mansfield was a New Zealand author who was considered a master of the short story form and one of the most influential and important Modernist authors. Her works explored anxiety, existentialism, and sexuality, and eventually developed a New Zealand identity.
Mansfield was born in Thornton near Wellington to a socially prominent family. She became disillusioned with New Zealand partly because of the treatment of the Maori. Her first printed stories appeared in high school magazines, but her first formally published story, “His Little Friend,” appeared in a society magazine in 1900.
Mansfield was partially educated in England, but she eventually left New Zealand altogether to establish herself in London, leading a bohemian existence and befriending members of the Bloomsbury Group. Her first published work in London reflect her disillusionment: In a German Pension, published in 1911. Her reputation was made in 1918 with Prelude, a selection of stories that evoke her memories of New Zealand.
Mansfield did her best work in 1922 and 23, publishing The Garden Party and The Dove’s Nest, which was published posthumously. She died of tuberculosis in France.
Most popular works: Prelude, The Garden Party and Other Stories, The Dove’s Nest and Other Stories
Other works: In a German Pension, Bliss and Other Stories, Poems, Something Childish and Other Stories, The Urewara Notebook, The Montana Stories and other stories, journals, and writings