Read Close to home. Aotearoa New Zealand fiction.

Q&A with Lizzie Harwood

READ CLOSE: Polaroid Nights is the winner of the NZSA Laura Solomon Cuba Press Prize – tell us about how the book started life, and the journey to publication. LIZZIE HARWOOD: I started it in 1996. It’s published now in 2001. What can I say? I’m slow to get my shit together. It made no […]

Book Review: Polaroid Nights by Lizzie Harwood

The Cuba Press, NZ RRP $37.00 The inaugural winner of the NZSA Laura Solomon Cuba Press Prize, Lizzie Harwood’s Polaroid Nights is a funky romp through Auckland in the 90s. Playful in style, this novel has a crime thriller vibe that’s both sweet and gritty. Betty Moonshadow Asphalt is a ‘hospo’ – she waits tables […]

Q&A with Kirsten McDougall

READ CLOSE: She’s a Killer tackles themes and ideas most of us are aware of, but mostly spend time avoiding: climate crisis, inequality, who deserves to survive catastrophe. Alice’s story forces us to face them head on – did you aim to write a novel that delves into our worst fears? KIRSTEN MCDOUGALL: Absolutely. I […]

Book Review: She’s a Killer by Kirsten McDougall

Victoria University Press, NZ RRP $35.00 She’s a Killer is a wild ride. Stylish and a bit kooky, this Kiwi dystopia is shrouded in the banal and familiar world of the near future, and it bristles with contemporary fear. Kirsten McDougall’s feisty plotting and ever-present wit creates fresh and spicy characters. The drama of the […]

Q&A with Angelique Kasmara

READ CLOSE: Isobar Precinct is set in a very gritty, dark but sexy Auckland. How does the city inform the story you’re telling, and were you ever tempted to set the book in another place? KASMARA: Ha! Lestari and her friends are people who work too hard, for whom a ‘night out’ is grabbing a […]

Book Review: Isobar Precinct by Angelique Kasmara

The Cuba Press, NZ RRP $37.00 In her ambitious debut Isobar Precinct, Angelique Kasmara speculates about the myriad ways we heal from loss and trauma, what autonomy people should have over their bodies, and if it’s possible to accept regret for the way we have lived. Isobar Precinct is science fiction that’s flirting with literary […]

Q&A with Bridget van der Zijpp

READ CLOSE: I Laugh me Broken is set in Berlin. Tell us about why you chose this city, and what modern Berlin offers to your story. VAN DER ZIJPP: I had an idea for a novel about somebody who, as an adult, finds out they are at risk of a devastating genetic disease which completely […]

Book Review: I Laugh Me Broken by Bridget van der Zijpp

Victoria University Press, NZ RRP $30.00 Learning how to live in the discomfort of the unknown fuels the plot of Bridget van der Zijpp’s third novel, I Laugh Me Broken, a book that explores the burden of genetics in our past and our future, and whether there’s a moral duty to know our fate. Ginny’s […]

Q&A with Rosetta Allan

READ CLOSE: Crazy Love is your third novel – tell us about how you and your writing have changed or stayed the same in that time, and if/how this novel differs from your first. ROSETTA ALLAN: My first novel, Purgatory, was published seven years ago. The second, The Unreliable People, was two years ago. Both […]

Book Review: Crazy Love by Rosetta Allan

Published by Penguin Random House, NZ RRP $36.00 Auckland based writer Rosetta Allan has mined her past for her third novel, Crazy Love. It’s a punk love story set against the political backdrop of economic policies that keep us down and out, a brutally dark novel about poverty, second chances, and mental illness. Written in […]


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