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Barry Crump

Barry Crump


Acrylic on Canvas

80cm diameter





Paying homage to a great kiwi legend.

Barry John Crump, MBE (15 May 1935 – 3 July 1996), was a New Zealand author of semi-autobiographical comic novels based on his image as a rugged outdoors man. Taken together his novels have sold more than a million copies domestically, equating to one book sold for every four New Zealanders. Born in Papatoetoe, Auckland, Crump worked for many years as a government deer-culler in areas of New Zealand native forest (termed the bush). He collected his experiences in his first novel A Good Keen Man in 1960. This novel became one of the most popular in New Zealand history, and Crump’s success continued with the more fictional Hang on a Minute Mate (1961), One of Us (1962), There and Back (1963), Gulf (1964), A Good Keen Girl (1970), Bastards I Have Met (1971), and others, which capitalized on the appeal of his good-natured itinerant self-sufficient characters and idiomatic "blokey" writing style.

Crump travelled throughout Australia (where he hunted crocodiles), Europe, Turkey, and India the result of which was his conversion to the Bahá’í Faith by 1982. He married five times, including a one-year marriage to the poet Fleur Adcock and a twelve year marriage to Robin Lee-Robinson, and had six sons.One of his sons, Martin Crump is now a well-known radio broadcaster.

Crump was also well known for appearing in a series of acclaimed New Zealand television advertisements for Toyota’s four-wheel drive cars, which relied on his image as a stalwart "bushman". He played an archetypal Kiwi bloke in the 1964 New Zealand film Runaway.

Crump's song, "Side By Side", featuring his "sidekick" Scotty (broadcaster Lloyd Scott), was used as the theme song for Team New Zealand in the America's Cup. He was awarded an MBE for services to literature in 1994.

Crump died in 1996 of a suspected aortic aneurism. At the time of his death he was living at Ohauiti with his wife Maggie.

In August 2009, plans were announced for Taika Waititi to adapt his book Wild Pork and Watercress (1986) into a film. Production was set for 2010.

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