Ann Beaglehole was born in Hungary and came to New Zealand (to Wellington) with her parents in 1956 after the Hungarian uprising against the former Soviet Union. Much of her writing has been about refugee experiences and displacement. Her novel Replacement Girl was published in 2002 by Tandem. She has written several works of history including A Small Price to Pay and Facing the Past, which are about refugees from Nazism settling in New Zealand (published by Allen and Unwin).
She has received international awards, including a Goethe Institute award and an award from the International Research Institute at Brandeis University. She have also been awarded several grants from New Zealandagencies to undertake oral history and other historical projects on a variety of topics. These include Jews in New Zealand, women and social welfare and the history of a seaside resort (Eastbourne near Wellington).
Her most recent publications are articles. They include an essay on refugee policy published in Klaus Neumann and Gwenda Tavan’s Does History Matter? Making and debating citizenship, immigration and refugee policy in Australia and New Zealand(Australia and New Zealand School of Government, ANZSOG series, ANU E Press, 2009). Another recent publication is on refugees interned on Somes Island, near Wellington, which appeared in Emily Turner-Graham and Christine Winter’s National Socialism in Oceania: A Critical Evaluation of its effect and aftermath (Peter Lange, Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften, in the series Germanica Pacifica,Frankfurt, Auckland, 2010). Another article: ‘The response of the New Zealand Government to Jewish refugees and Holocaust Survivors, 1933-1947’, may be located at Wellington Holocaust Research Education Centre website: www.holocaustcentre.org.nz
A forthcoming publication is a chapter in: ‘Leading the Way in Education’, in Len Bell and Diana Morrow eds., At the End of the World: Jewish Lives in New Zealand (Random House New Zealand). She is at present undertaking historical research for Waitangi Tribunal inquiries.
She says: My stay at the Michael King Writers centre in 2009 was both useful for my writing and provided a relaxing break from Wellington. The peace and quiet enabled me to make a start on a new novel. The energetic walks up and down the hill helped me plan the book. I enjoyed meeting some Auckland based writers.