Sylvia Ashton-Warner was one of the great educational innovators of the twentieth century. Working predominantly with small New Zealand country schools, particularly with Maori youth, at the furthest edge of the 'civilised' world, she established classroom techniques that unlocked a storehouse of imagery native to each child. Through the use of 'key vocabulary' her pupils learned that language could not only reflect their own creative energies but be a mirror to life itself. She was also a very successful author herself with dozens of titles to her name, including two pieces of fiction: Spinster and Teacher. Published to coincide with the 2008 International Sylvia Ashton-Warner Centennial Conference, to be held at Auckland University.
Lynley Hood was born in Hamilton in 1942. She has a Masters in Physiology from the University of Otago and has worked as a freelance writer for many years. She has received several writing awards, including the New Zealand Literary Fund Non-fiction Writers Bursary. Her previous books include A City Possessed: The Christchurch Civic Creche Case and Minnie Deans: Her Life and Crimes. She is married with three children.