New Zealand writers often invoke familiar landscapes; introducing their homeland to readers and inspiring armchair travelers to real holidays of discovery.

Witi Ihimaera, New Zealand

New Zealand writers have regularly captured international attention and readers, from 19th century short story writer Katherine Mansfield(opens in new window) to the lyrical Janet Frame(opens in new window) (mid-20th century) and Lloyd Jones(opens in new window) (Mr Pip).

Kiwi crime novelists also have a strong following, beginning with Ngaio Marsh(opens in new window) and more recently Paul Cleave(opens in new window) and Vanda Symon(opens in new window), creator of the strong sexy female detective Sam Shephard.

New Zealand's many voices are also heard in poetry. Selina Tusitala Marsh's(opens in new window) first collection was greeted as a “challenging new fusion … refreshing and daring”.

Kate Camp(opens in new window), who has published four collections, held a 2011 writer's residency in Berlin, and leading contemporary poet and literary figure Bill Manhire(opens in new window) is due to release a new selection in 2012.

Children’s writers, such as Margaret Mahy(opens in new window), Lynley Dodd(opens in new window) and Joy Cowley(opens in new window), have brought the joy of books to children and helped create many adult readers worldwide. An exciting new generation of children and young adults writers, such as Mandy Hager(opens in new window), are following in their footsteps.

A profile of some of New Zealand's contemporary writers:

Witi Ihimaera
The first Māori writer to publish both a book of short stories and a novel, Witi Ihimaera considers “the world I’m in as being Māori, not European,” and his fiction develops out of this perspective. He creates imaginative new realities for his readers, drawing from autobiographical experience. His novel, The Whale Rider, has become an internationally successful feature film.

C K Stead
C.K. Stead is one of New Zealand’s foremost literary figures. He is a distinguished novelist, literary critic, poet, essayist and emeritus professor of English of the University of Auckland. Stead has won, and been nominated for, many prestigious awards and fellowships, including the Creative New Zealand Michael King Writers’ Fellowship in 2005. Stead is one of only two living New Zealand writers to be honoured as a Member of the Order of New Zealand (ONZ).

Kate De Goldi
Kate De Goldi is a short story writer, an author of young adult fiction, a children’s book author and a writer of journalism articles. De Goldi also regularly reviews books on radio and television. She won the American Express and Katherine Mansfield Memorial awards for short stories, as well as the New Zealand Post Book of the Year Award in 2005 and 2009. The 10pm Question (2008) won the Young Adult section of the 2009 New Zealand Post Book Awards and the 2011 Corine International Book Prize Young Readers Award. 

Paul Cleave
Paul Cleave is an internationally bestselling author who is currently dividing him time between his home city of Christchurch, New Zealand, where all of his novels are set, and London. Movie rights have been sold to his first book, The Cleaner, and will be a European production. His sixth novel, The Laughterhouse, is due for release this year.

Read about Paul Cleave's recent adventure on Franz Josef Glacier:  Frisbee on ice - hiking on Franz Josef Glacier

Catherine Robertson 
Catherine Robertson's debut novel, The Sweet Second Life of Darrell Kincaid (2011), hit the New Zealand bestseller list immediately, and got as far as number one. Radio New Zealand called the book 'absolutely brilliant', with another reviewer describing Robertson as 'a new national treasure'. Robertson's second novel, The Not So Perfect Life of Mo Lawrence will be released this year.

Read about Catherine Robertson's recent adventure on Kapiti Island:  A kaka stole my cornflakes

Source: New Zealand Ministry of Culture & Heritage

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