Catherine Chidgey

Intelligent, lyrical, disciplined and observant, she is the real deal, the star of her generation." NZ Listener on Catherine Chidgey

Catherine is a novelist, short-story writer and teacher of creative writing.

Her fourth, and most recent book The Wish Child recently won Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize in the 2017 Ockham NZ Book Awards. Her debut novel, In a Fishbone Church, was published in 1998 and has been widely praised in New Zealand and overseas, winning Best First Book of Fiction in The Montana NZ Book Awards in 1998.

Her second novel Golden Deeds was runner-up for the Deutz Medal for Fiction in the 2000 The Montana NZ Book Awards. The Transformation, Catherine's third novel, was published in November 2003.

In 1997, Catherine was awarded the Adam Foundation Prize for her portfolio produced during study with Bill Manhire at Victoria University of Wellington's Creative Writing Programme. She was awarded the 2001 Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship, the inaugural Glenn Schaeffer Prize in Modern Letters in 2002, and the Robert Burns Fellowship in 2005.

Catherine grew up in the Hutt Valley and now lives in Ngaruawahia with her husband and young daughter, and teaches creative writing at Waikato University and Manukau Institute of Technology. She has degrees in creative writing, psychology, and German literature.

The Wish Child is a profound meditation on the wreckage caused by a corrupt ideology, on the resilience of the human spirit, and on crimes that cannot be undone.” - Victoria University Press

For more info, read Catherine's bio on the New Zealand Book Council website, an article on Stuff re: Ockham short-list and another one on her second language, and a Radio New Zealand review of The Wish Child.



Photo credit: Fiona Pardington



Festival sessions

The Wish Child 

Catherine Chidgey in conversation with Tessa Nicholson

Radio New Zealand reviewed Catherine’s latest book, The Wish Child, as “a brilliant, brilliant novel…a masterpiece”. You don’t want to miss hearing Catherine talk about this timely and significant novel, at once moving, tender and absurdly funny. 


An Hour with Catherine Chidgey 

Catherine Chidgey in conversation with Tessa Nicholson

Catherine discusses and reads from her four acclaimed novels, reveals details of her next novel and reflects on her own story, in the intimate setting of The Treehouse at Cloudy Bay.