Judith White is known for what Michael King described as her ‘vividly and hauntingly original’ writing and, as Iain Sharp in the Sunday Star Times noted, is ‘second to none . . . when it comes to depicting states of anxiety, both comic and poignant. And the brilliance with which she enters into her characters’ aberrant states of mind signals a major talent.’
She is a winner of the BNZ Katherine Mansfield Centenary Award, twice winner of the Sunday Star Times Short Story Competition, and in 1998 won the Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship. A collection of short stories, Visiting Ghosts, was shortlisted for the New Zealand Book Awards, and her first novel, Across the Dreaming Night, was shortlisted for the Montana New Zealand Book of the Year. Her second novel is The Elusive Language of Ducks. Her short stories have been widely published and broadcast on radio.
In The New Zealand Herald, Elspeth Sandys revealed: ‘Across the Dreaming Night remains in my mind as a fine piece of writing, haunting and sad, with occasional flashes of humour and a marvellously unexpected ending.’ Elizabeth Caffin in New Zealand Books wrote: ‘It is the imaginative vision that is so striking in Judith White’s Across the Dreaming Night, a novel that moves into different territory. It is true that this novel has elements of female self-discovery and of social comment, but at its centre is something powerful, even unworldly . . . But White writes about this strange emotion with a tenderness and inner sympathy that extends it beyond mere explanation, that allows it not to be fully understood, to be, in the end, deeply haunting and moving.’