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Stevan Eldred-Grigg
Photo Credit: © Gareth Watkins

Stevan Eldred-Grigg

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Stevan Eldred-Grigg is a novelist, short story writer, essayist, biographer and historian, who has been lauded as ‘a natural story-teller’ (Metro). Born by mistake in the Grey Valley, New Zealand, in 1952, he grew up and was educated in Canterbury, New Zealand, and Canberra, Australia. He gained an MA in History from the University of Canterbury, and then obtained a PhD at the Australian National University in Canberra.

Few contemporary New Zealand or Australian novelists have written about subjects so varied and challenging – and in such a variety of genres and styles. A key focus in his writing has been on class and on his home region of Canterbury. His first novel, Oracles and Miracles, was published in New Zealand in 1987 and won second place in the 1988 Goodman Fielder Wattie Book Awards. It was subsequently adapted for stage and radio, and was also the first major novel by a living New Zealand writer to be published in China - the Chinese translation being published under the title Sheng Xian Qi Ji. This was followed by a number of other novels, including the riveting Shanghai Boy and Bangs, the fourth book in what has become a family saga over three generations, beginning with Oracles and Miraclesand continuing in The Shining City and Mum. In 2019, he won the Janet Frame Literary Trust Award.

As a historian he has been described as ‘smart, sensitive to his subjects, and prepared to tell the stories other historians neglect’ (Wanganui Chronicle). His histories include Diggers, Hatters & Whores: The Story of the New Zealand Gold Rushes, which won the Hachette NZ Award for Best Non-Illustrated Book at the PANZ Book Design Awards 2009,and The Great Wrong War (a controversial social history of the experience of World War One in New Zealand), which won the Hachette NZ Award for Best Illustrated Book at the PANZ Book Design Awards 2011. He won a Copyright Licensing Limited scholarship to write Diggers, Hatters and Whores.

Eldred-Grigg has lived in Mexico City, Iowa City, Berlin, Shanghai and Beijing. He is currently based in Wellington. He has three grown sons. See www.eldred-grigg.com