Emily Perkins

Senior Lecturer International Institute of Modern Letters

Emily Perkins profile picture


Emily is an internationally published fiction writer whose work has been widely anthologised. She has taught creative writing in the UK and New Zealand, most recently convening the Masters of Creative Writing at The University of Auckland.

Emily holds a Master of Creative Writing from The University of Auckland and is a graduate of Toi Whakaari, the New Zealand Drama School. Her first book, Not Her Real Name and Other Stories (VUP and Picador, 1996), won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize (UK) and the Montana Award for Best First Book of Fiction (NZ). Her four novels include Novel About My Wife, which won the Montana Book Award (NZ) and the Believer Book of the Year (US). Her most recent novel is The Forrests (Bloomsbury, 2012), selected as a Book of the Year in the Daily Telegraph, Observer, and New Statesman among other venues, longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2013 and shortlisted for Best Book of Fiction in the 2013 New Zealand Post Book Awards.

Her fictional interests include pushing the possibilities of form, genre and textural affect within realist prose. She has collaborated on a mini-comic with Dylan Horrocks and has studied writing for the screen. From 2006-2011 Emily was the presenter of TV books programmes 'The Book Show' and 'The Good Word'.

Emily's first play–an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, commissioned by Auckland Theatre Company –opened at Auckland's Maidment Theatre in 2015.

She is the co-writer, along with  director Alison Maclean, of The Rehearsal, a feature film based on the novel by Eleanor Catton, which is screening throughout NZ and at international film festivals in 2016.

Emily has held the Buddle Findlay Sargeson Residency and in 2011 was named an Arts Laureate by the Arts Foundation. She is frequently invited to present her work and discuss New Zealand fiction at literary events in NZ and abroad, and was a member of New Zealand’s 2012 Guest of Honour programme at the Frankfurt Book Fair. She is a member of The Folio Prize Academy.

Emily is the International Institute of Modern Letters' Māori and Pasifika Liaison staffmember.

(Photo credit: Sara Orme.)

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MA in Creative Writing