Noel Virtue was born in Wellington, New Zealand, in 1947. The author of eight novels and an autobiography, he is now established as one of New Zealand's leading contemporary novelists.
'Little Elsdon must be the worst-treated child in literature since Smike. But Virtue sensibly sustains the robust, laconic idiom of his native New Zealand, and never attempts to play the violin on his reader's heartstrings. Elsdon's untarnished optimism lights the bleakest landscapes and carries him to safety.' - INDEPENDENT 'A wonderful account of childhood that touches you to the quick with its painfully funny amalgam of misery and euphoria.' - MAIL ON SUNDAY