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Elizabeth Knox


Elizabeth Knox

Elizabeth Knox CNZM’s Biography

Last Updated:
28/05/2024, 10:28 am
Arts Foundation Laureate 2000, Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship 1999
‘The master is present. To read Knox on such a huge canvas – to be immersed in her worlds, wrapped in her intelligence and craft so completely – is an experience not be missed. Lessing, Le Guin, Knox – books where the best hearts meet the best minds meet the best imaginations are few and far between. The Absolute Book is a triumph of fantasy grounded in the reality and challenges of the moment we live in.’ —Pip Adam on The Absolute Book

Elizabeth Knox is the author of thirteen novels, three novellas, and a collection of essays. The Vintner's Luck is her best-known work to date, winner of New Zealand's most prestigious literary prize, the Montana Book Awards' Deutz medal for fiction, and now published in eight countries.

Elizabeth's fifth novel, Black Oxen, was released in New Zealand and the US in 2001, and her sixth novel, Billie's Kiss was published in March 2002. Billie's Kiss was a finalist in the Montana Book Awards. In March 2001 Elizabeth won the prestigious Tasmania Pacific Region Prize for best novel for The Vintner's Luck, ahead of works by leading New Zealand and Australian authors. The Vintner's Luck has also been translated into French and was shortlisted for the PorixVille De Saumur in the Esprit Baccus section and developed as a screen adaptation by Nicky Caro into a film which premiered in 2009.

Elizabeth's Novel Daylight (2003) was shortlisted for Best Book in the South Pacific & South East Asian Region of the 2004 Commonwealth Writers Prize. Dreamhunter (HarperCollins, 2005) is a fast-paced and dazzlingly imaginative. It draws the reader into an extraordinary fictional world in which dreams are as vividly described as the cream cakes in the tea shop, the sand on the beach or the memories of first love.

Early in 2008 Elizabeth was phoned from America to be told that part two of the Dreamhunter Duet, Dreamquake had become a Michael Printz Honour Book. With a similar selection process to the Laureate Awards, recipients of this "Academy Awards" of children's literature do not know their books are under consideration. Dreamquake also won an ALA Best book award in the same year.

At the end of 2008 Elizabeth released two new books; a limited hardback edition of The Vintener's Luck celebrating the 10th anniversary of novel and, The Love School, a collection of more than twenty years of Elizabeth's non-fiction writing. Her third novel for young adults, Mortal Fire, was published in June 2013 and her novel Wake in October in the same year. Her latest is The Absolute Book.

Elizabeth was the 1997 Writer in Residence at Victoria University, Wellington and in 1999 the Katherine Mansfield Fellow in Menton, France. She received one of the five inaugural Arts Foundation Laureate Award recipients in 2000 and was made an Officer of the said Order (ONZM) in the June 2002 New Zealand Queen's Birthday Honours. In 2019 she won the Prime Minister’s Award if Fiction. Elizabeth lives in Wellington with her husband and son.