Writer, director, and teacher Phillip Mann has died aged 80 in Wellington.
Mann died on Thursday in the capital, according to a statement released by Mann’s family.
Anthony Phillip Mann MNZM, born on August 1942, was a British-born New Zealand science fiction author.
He studied English and drama at Manchester University and later in California before moving to New Zealand where he established the first drama studies position at a New Zealand university in 1970; at the Victoria University of Wellington in Wellington.
He retired from the position of professor of drama at Victoria in 1998 to concentrate on other projects.
He has worked extensively in theatre, as a professional director and drama tutor, both in New Zealand, the United States and Europe.
Between 1968 and 1970, he worked as a ‘polisher of English’ (i.e. sub-editor) with the New China News Agency in Beijing.
This being the period shortly after the conclusion of the Cultural Revolution, he was able to witness the re-emergence of Classical Chinese theatre as well as the emergence of new forms of drama.
It was during this period that he wrote his first science fiction novel, The Eye of the Queen.
In the 2017 New Year Honours, Mann was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to literature and drama.
Mann divides his time between his home in Brooklyn, Wellington, and a converted barn in the small town of Choussy in France’s Loire Valley.
He is now working on a new novel The Headman (a “darkly comic novel”), an anthology of short stories, and a work on theatre production.
Before Phillip Mann’s death, he was married to Nonnita Mann.
Phillip Mann Children: Meet Deila Mann, Owen Mann
Phillip Mann was married to Monnita Man, the couple has been together for more than a decade.
They have two children, a daughter called Deila Mann and a son known as Owen Mann.
Mann is survived by his wife, Nonnita, daughter Delia, son Owen and grandchildren Jasper, Poppy, Ianto, and Rafe.