Joanne Drayton

Joanne Drayton is an art historian, biographer and nonfiction writer. Her personal memoir The Queen’s Wife was published in January this year. Her book Hudson & Halls: The Food of Love won the non-fiction award at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards in 2019. The Search for Anne Perry was a top-10 non-fiction on the New York Times bestseller list. Joanne is a research associate at the University of Auckland and an English teacher at Avondale College. She lives in Auckland with her partner. 

2023 festival sessions

The Queen’s Wife

Joanne Drayton in conversation with Jane Forrest Waghorn
1:30pm-2.30pm, Saturday 22 July, ASB Theatre Marlborough, $25

Joanne discusses her memoir, The Queen’s Wife, a modern love story featuring whakapapa, archaeology, art and heartbreak, with Jane Forrest Waghorn. Joanne’s story is one of two married women who met in 1989 in Christchurch. Their love threatens to cost them their children, families and friends and forces them to reassess their sexuality, identity and heritage. Against the odds, the couple’s new life together is rich in laughter, travel, unusual encounters, investigations into Viking raids, the Kingitanga movement and much more.

The Lives of Others

Joanne Drayton in conversation with Nikki Macdonald
12pm-1pm, Sun 23 July, ASB Theatre Marlborough, $25

Joanna discusses the art of biography writing and shares stories about researching her acclaimed biographies of Ngaio Marsh, Frances Hodgkins, Anne Perry, Hudson and Halls, Rhona Hazard and Edith Collier. How does one unlock the secrets of other people’s lives and turn them into such great reads?


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