The post-1950 novel in New Zealand can be described in terms of transition and innovation, as writers were energized by a sense of ferment, excitement, and shifting identities. This reflects the profound social, political, and cultural changes of the period. In the 1950s and 1960s, literary novelists were driven by two desires: to create a genuine local literature that was not derivative of British models and to awaken society from its socially conservative and ethnically homogeneous complacency. The chapter considers how the New Zealand novel has been shaped by postcolonial and feminist sensibilities since the 1970s together with a wider sense of its Pacific and Asian identity. It also discusses the authors' exploration of shifting identities, which can be divided into four broadly chronological, overlapping phases: social realism and social protest; the Maōri Renaissance; cultural change and stylistic experimentation; and boundary-crossing.
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