Maurice Shadbolt was a major New Zealand fiction writer and playwright. He published numerous novels and collections of short fiction, as well as novellas, non-fiction, and a play. His writing often drew on his own family history. Shadbolt won several fellowships and almost every major literary prize, some more than once. He was capped Honorary Doctor of Literature by the University of Auckland in 1997.
Shadbolt's interest in Gallipoli would spawn books, films, and his only published play. Once on Chunuk Bair, a tale of a group of soldiers trying to capture a key piece of land in Gallipoli, was bought to the screen in 1991 by Dale Bradley under the title Chunuk Bair. Shadbolt also wrote the script for Feltex Award-winning documentary Gallipoli: The New Zealand Story, and accompanying book Voices of Gallipoli.