The Trials of Minnie Dean by Karen Zelas


A verse biography using a myriad of voices, exploring the trials of the infamous New Zealand child murderer of the late 1800’s, Minnie Dean.

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A verse biography

Minnie Dean: the first – and only – woman to be hanged in New Zealand. Baby farmer and child murderer, or hardworking wife and mother, supporting her family by caring for unwanted children in a society that shunned her?

Karen Zelas explores the trials of Minnie Dean using a myriad of voices, including Dean’s own, from her childhood in Scotland to the gallows in Invercargill, 1895.

for bairns it is what
women do why god gave us
two arms: one to hold a child a-hip
t’other to stir the pot …


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