Yvonne Donna du Fresne

Yvonne Donna du Fresne

Female 1929 - 2011  (81 years)    Has 69 ancestors but no descendants in this family tree.

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  • Name Yvonne Donna du Fresne 
    Born 30 Sep 1929  Wellington, North Island, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Died 13 Mar 2011  Makara Beach, North Island, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Oldest Known Ancestors
    Paternal Line: Lambert Dufresne,   b. Flandern, Belgium Find all individuals with events at this location
    Maternal Line: Alma Ellen Kerr,   b. 12 May 1905, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 May 1993, Wellington, North Island, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location
    Person ID I14374  Devantier Tree | Abraham Heinrich du Fresne (1862-1941) Branch, New Zealand - Branch, Decendant of Pierre Devantier (1637-1692)
    Last Modified 28 Dec 2017 

    Father Ancestors Harold Andreas du Fresne,   b. 7 Nov 1904, Palmerston North, North Island, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Jul 1990, Nelson, South Island, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years) 
    Mother Alma Ellen Kerr,   b. 12 May 1905, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 May 1993, Wellington, North Island, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 88 years) 
    Married 1928 
    Family ID F4968  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Michael Garnstone Hitchings 
    Last Modified 28 Dec 2017 
    Family ID F5251  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 30 Sep 1929 - Wellington, North Island, New Zealand Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 13 Mar 2011 - Makara Beach, North Island, New Zealand Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    Yvonne du Fresne
    Yvonne du Fresne

  • Notes 
    • From the New Zealand Book Council

      ABOUT THE AUTHOR

      Du Fresne, Yvonne (1929 - 2011) was a fiction writer whose works, set in the Danish-French Huguenot community, are among the finest literary examinations of non-British European cultures in New Zealand.

      Born in Takaka, du Fresne moved to the North Island at age three and was brought up in the Danish-French Huguenot settlement of the Manawatu. Her writing shows a strong affinity with the regions landscape.

      Du Fresne trained as a teacher in Christchurch, qualifying in classroom music and voice teaching, and specialised in teaching music. As a teacher, she has worked in Primary Schools, at Wellington Teachers' College, and at the Correspondence School, for which she was also a drama scriptwriter. Three radio plays have been broadcast on National Radio, ?The Spring?, ?The Ship?, ?A Little Talk About Our Winter District?.

      Her collection of short fiction, Farvel and other stories (1980) won the PEN Best First Book Award and was read over the radio as ?Astrid of the Limberlost?. At this time du Fresne travelled to writers conferences at Aarhus and Kiel Universities on a travel award from the Danish Ministry of Culture.

      This debut was followed by a novel, The Book of Ester (1982), and a collection of linked stories The Growing of Astrid Westergaard (1985). Astrid Westergaard features the same Danish New Zealand protagonist as Farvel and was also adapted for radio.

      Both collections, writes Nina Nola in the Oxford Companion to New Zealand Literature ?attempt to establish a connection between the non-British European migrants and Maori.? The Womens Press published a selection of the stories as The Bear from the North (1989) with the subtitle ?Tales of a New Zealand Childhood?.

      The Book of Ester also has a Hugenot protagonist, whom critics described as a grown up Astrid Westergaard. After the death of her Danish husband, Ester traces the course her forbears took to arrive in New Zealand, and finds consolation in the arms of a fellow Dane.

      Frederique (1987) is deeply engaged with European history and the mythical world of Danish folklore. While visiting Denmark in 1980, du Fresne discovered an entry in her family records about a young woman - the Frederique of the title - who was wounded during the assassination of her parents by French Catholic agents in 1723. This story was the seed for the novel, set in 19th century New Zealand.

      In Motherland (1996), Astrid Westergaard, returns to Denmark and has a reunion with her Danish relatives. ?As romance flourishes,? writes Janet Wilson in NZ Listener, ?du Fresne brings into suggestive parallel the deeper exploration of Astrids psyche that love urges with the rediscovery of her roots in Jutland.?

      ?Interweaving Astrid's story with an underlying enquiry about nationality, and brilliantly controlling the surface elements of mystery and romance, she has written more than a moving and believable story.?

      Over her publishing career Yvonne du Fresne received a number of literary awards and scholarships in New Zealand and Denmark. After winning the best first book award for Farvel, she was twice runner-up in the New Zealand Book Awards for The Growing of Astrid Westergaard and The Book of Ester.

      While on a Writers Residence at Aarhus University Jutland, Denmark in 1999, du Fresne established future writers residencies for New Zealand writers at that university .

      In reviewing Motherland in New Zealand Books, Heather Murray could as easily be describing du Fresne's oeuvre when she writes: ?[Y]es, it is a story of coming to terms with one's heritage but du Fresne avoids the pitfalls of the well done-over topic. She writes so beautifully and puts such a new edge on it all, that the reader finds everything to enjoy.?

      Yvonne du Fresne passed away in Wellington on the 13 March 2011, aged 81.