less than 1 minute read

John Mulgan Biography

(1911–45), Poems of Freedom, Man Alone, Report on Experience

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Mr Polly to New France

New Zealand writer, born in Christchurch, educated at Auckland and Oxford universities. Experience of the 1932 Auckland unemployment riots awakened him to a political commitment reflected in his journalism from England during 1936. In 1938 Mulgan edited an anthology, Poems of Freedom, to which E. M. Forster contributed an appreciative preface. His sole work of fiction, Man Alone (1939), an outstanding portrait of New Zealand life between the wars traced through the life of an immigrant, reflects Mulgan's experience of European political events during this crucial period. Mulgan took his own life in 1945. The posthumous Report on Experience (1947) drew profoundly upon his wartime experiences in Egypt and Greece in commenting on New Zealand and English society and politics during the 1930s, and on Mulgan's shifting responses to his own country.

Additional topics