Publications

The following titles are in print and available from good bookstores:

Cover for This Mortal Boy

This Mortal Boy
(fiction)
RHNZ Vintage (New Zealand), 2018

A novel based on real events and real people and the events that led to one of the last executions in New Zealand.
Albert Black, known as the ‘jukebox killer’, was only twenty when he was convicted of murdering another young man in a fight at a milk bar in Auckland on 26 July 1955. His crime fuelled growing moral panic about teenagers, and he was to hang less than five months later, the second-to-last person to be executed in New Zealand.

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A Day at the MoviesAll Day at the Movies
(fiction)
RHNZ Vintage (New Zealand), 2016
Life isn’t always like it appears in the movies. In 1952, Irene Sandle takes her young daughter to Motueka. Irene was widowed during the war and is seeking a new start and employment in the tobacco fields. There, she finds the reality of her life far removed from the glamour of the screen. Can there be romance and happy endings, or will circumstances repeat through the generations?

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9781775538554This Change in the Light: A collection of poems
(poetry)
RHNZ Godwit (New Zealand), 2016
Fiona Kidman’s exquisite and adroit poetry invites the reader into her life, introducing us to her family, friends and places she has loved. In turn it touches our own experiences, offering universal relevance and insight.

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Infinite AirThe Infinite Air
(fiction)
Vintage (New Zealand), 2013
Aviator extraordinaire and international icon, Jean Batten was as elusive as she was glamorous. One of the world’s most courageous and daring aviators, she broke “men’s records” and became a legend. But who was Jean Batten and why did she die in obscurity in Majorca; lost to the world and buried in a pauper’s grave until a film crew came looking for her, some five years after her death?

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The Trouble with Fire coverThe Trouble With Fire
(fiction)
Vintage (New Zealand), 2011
Eleven long stories make up this collection, linked by the theme of fire. Fire is a dangerous lurking event, which is also beautiful and alluring in its physical manifestation. Like memory, one is never sure when it will catch up with you. In several of these stories, the past captures the mostly female central characters and reveals different aspects of their lives and perspectives on how others see them. The book falls into three sections.

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Beside the Dark Pool coverBeside the Dark Pool
(memoir)
Vintage (New Zealand), 2009
Beside the Dark Pool is the second volume of a two part memoir, taking up the story of my life from 1980, where ‘At the end of Darwin Road‘ ends. The 1980s began in dramatic fashion with demonstrations against the Springbok ruby tour of New Zealand. My husband Ian and I were both caught up in these events, and Ian tells part of the story, in eye witness accounts, in the first two chapters.

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At the End of Darwin Road coverAt the End of Darwin Road
(memoir)
Vintage (New Zealand), 2008
At the end of Darwin Road is volume one of a two-volume memoir. In this book, I trace my early life in small town New Zealand. Born in Hawera to restless, hard-working parents, I follow our lives together through the Waikato, Kerikeri in the Bay of Islands, the Nova Scotian settlement of Waipu, and Rotorua.

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The Captive Wife coverThe Captive Wife
(novel)
Vintage (New Zealand), 2005. As Rescapeé Sabine Wespieser Editeur (France), 2006. As Lupta Cu Destinul Lidur (Romania) 2009
When Betty Guard steps ashore in Sydney, in 1834, she meets with a heroine’s welcome. Her survival during a four-month kidnapping ordeal amongst Taranaki Maori is hailed as nothing short of a miracle. But questions about what really happened slowly surface with in the elite governing circles of the raw new town of Sydney. Based on a true story.

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Songs from the Violet Cafe coverSongs from the Violet Café
(novel)
Vintage (New Zealand), 2003
Violet Trench is the autocratic owner of the Violet Café, located in a tourist town in the North Island. Her staff consists mostly of young girls who have difficult home lives. Violet believes she can make a difference to them. She rules them with a rod of iron, ‘for their own good’. Her cook is a beautiful slim-hipped young Chinese man, called John Wing Lee. It is here, and to these people, that Jessie Sandle, comes unexpectedly, one spring evening, ….

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Book of Secrets coverThe Book of Secrets
(novel)
1st pub Heinemann 1987. Continuously in print in various editions, currently Vintage (New Zealand)
In a creaking old house, in the Far North of New Zealand, lives an old woman called Maria, who some call the ‘witch of Waipu.’ It is more than fifty years since she has lived as part of the community. She is the last in a line of women
who have followed the Reverend Norman McLeod from Scotland to Nova Scotia to New Zealand, in the 1850s.

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View the complete bibliography by clicking here

A Breed of Women

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All Day at the Movies

All Day at the Movies Random House New Zealand Vintage, 2016 Winner New Zealand Heritage Prize for Fiction 2016 The Spinoff’s Top New Zealand Novel for 2016 Listener Best 100 Books for 2016 Life isn’t always like it appears in the movies. In 1952, Irene Sandle takes her young daughter to Motueka. Irene was widowed during …

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Complete Bibliography

Where the Left Hand Rests Poetry Godwit 2010 Beside the Dark Pool Memoir Vintage 2009 At the end of Darwin Road Memoir Vintage 2008 Best New Zealand Fiction:3 Short Stories (ed) Vintage 2006 Best New Zealand Fiction:2Short Stories (ed)Vintage 2005 Best New Zealand Fiction:1 Short Stories (ed) Vintage 2004 The Captive Wife Novel Vintage 2004 …

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The Foreign Woman

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The House Within

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The Infinite Air

Synopsis: Aviator extraordinaire and international icon, Jean Batten was as elusive as she was glamorous. One of the world’s most courageous and daring aviators, she broke “men’s records” and became a legend. But who was Jean Batten and why did she die in obscurity in Majorca; lost to the world and buried in a pauper’s …

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The Trouble with Fire cover

The Trouble with Fire

Shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize and the New Zealand Post Book Award 2012. Synopsis: Eleven long stories make up this collection, linked by the theme of fire. Fire is a dangerous lurking event, which is also beautiful and alluring in its physical manifestation. Like memory, one is never sure when it …

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This Change in the Light: A collection of poems

This Change in the Light: A collection of poems Random House New Zealand Godwit, 2016 “A superb collection of poetry from one of New Zealand’s top writers. Fiona Kidman’s exquisite and adroit poetry invites the reader into her life, introducing us to her family, friends and places she has loved. In turn it touches our …

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Cover for This Mortal Boy

This Mortal Boy

This Mortal Boy July 2018 Synopsis: A novel based on real events and real people and the events that led to one of the last executions in New Zealand. Albert Black, known as the ‘jukebox killer’, was only twenty when he was convicted of murdering another young man in a fight at a milk bar in …

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True Stars

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Unsuitable Friends

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Wakeful Nights

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Where Your Left Hand Rests: a collection of poems

Synopsis: I published my first collection of poems ‘Honey & Bitters’, in 1975, a whole 36 years ago. After four collections, at some point, I simply stopped writing poems. I was a fiction writer, after all, and I needed to focus on that discipline. Or so I thought. But my love of poetry as a …

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Beside the Dark Pool

Synopsis: Beside the Dark Pool is the second volume of a two part memoir, taking up the story of my life from 1980, where  At the end of Darwin Road ends. The 1980s began in dramatic fashion with demonstrations against the Springbok ruby tour of New Zealand. My husband Ian and I were both caught …

View page »

At the End of Darwin Road

Synopsis: At the end of Darwin Road is volume one of a two-volume memoir. In this book, I trace my early life in small town New Zealand. Born in Hawera to restless, hard-working parents, I follow our lives together through the Waikato, Kerikeri in the Bay of Islands, the Nova Scotian settlement of Waipu, and …

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Best New Zealand Fiction 3

Synopsis: The standard of New Zealand writing today can hold its own on the world stage. It also has a distinctly local flavour, depicting our landscape and experiences as well as our wry insights and tone. Coming from a variety of writers and representing the best stories written over the past year, this third annual …

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Best New Zealand Fiction 2

Synopsis: 20 wonderful new stories by the best and freshest voices in New Zealand writing today. This year’s contributors are:Norman Bilbrough, William Brandt, David Eggleton, Chris Else, Fiona Farrell, Pierre Furlan, Charlotte Grimshaw, Karyn Hay, Eirlys Hunter, Witi Ihimaera, Kevin ireland, Annamarie Jagose, Shonagh Koea, Tze Ming Mok, Paula Morris, Gregory O’Brien, Tony O’Brien, Vincent …

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Best New Zealand Fiction 1

Synopsis: The Best New Zeland Fiction: 1 is a collection of new writing by a blend of established and new writers.It is planned as an annual anthology which will demonstrate the very best in recent new writing. They have been selected by Fiona Kidman, with an Introduction to the stories by her. The contributors are:Norman …

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The Captive Wife

Synopsis: When Betty Guard steps ashore in Sydney, in 1834, she meets with a heroine’s welcome. Her survival during a four-month kidnapping ordeal amongst Taranaki Maori is hailed as nothing short of a miracle. But questions about what really happened slowly surface with in the elite governing circles of the raw new town of Sydney. …

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Songs from the Violet Cafe

Synopsis: Violet Trench is the autocratic owner of the Violet Café, located in a tourist town in the North Island. Her staff consists mostly of young girls who have difficult home lives. Violet believes she can make a difference to them. She rules them with a rod of iron, ‘for their own good’. Her cook …

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A Needle in the Heart

There are six stories in the book: – A Needle in the Heart – Silver-Tongued – Families Like Ours – Mr Blue Satin – Soup Most of the characters in this book have homely domestic backgrounds. Story development: The long story form interests me a great deal. Chekhov was the great master, to whom I …

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The Best of Fiona Kidman’s Short Stories

Synopsis: The Best of Fiona Kidman’s Short Stories contains 37 stories, some previously uncollected, and some new, written in the period 1968-1998. Those that were previously collected appeared in Mrs Dixon and Friend, Unsuitable Friends and The Foreign Woman (Mrs Dixon and Friend was short-listed for the New Zealand Book Awards, and The Foreign Woman …

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The Book of Secrets

Vintage, Random House is issuing a special edition of The Book of Secrets to mark the 160th anniversary of the Waipu migration from Nova Scotia. It is due for release on 7 December. ‘The Book of Secrets’ has been continuously in print for 27 years.               Synopsis: In a …

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