last updated
7 Sept 2002

Lynley's Books

Lynley Hood, Sylvia! The Biography of Sylvia Ashton-Warner, Penguin, Auckland, 1988

Sylvia Ashton-Warner was one of the great educational innovators of the twentieth century.Working predominantly with Maori children in small New Zealand country schools, she unlocked a storehouse of imagery native to each child. Through the use of the 'key vocabulary' her pupils learned that language could reflect their own creative energies, and be a mirror for life itself.

But Sylvia was also an artist, from her earliest years tortured by self-doubt and driven by passions the full extent of which are revealed in this book for the first time. Wife, mother, teacher, writer - she lived behind a mask that she dared not put down.

In this magnificent biography Lynley Hood traces the life and work of the contradictory and romantic Sylvia Ashton-Warner.