07 Nov 2019
Acclaimed novelist Catherine Robertson has been appointed the Victoria University of Wellington International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) and Creative New Zealand Writer in Residence for 2020.
Media release from International Institute of Modern Letters
Ms Robertson’s fiction is celebrated for its witty, precise, and emotionally involving depictions of contemporary life. All six of her novels, which include The Hiding Places, Gabriel’s Bay, and What You Wish For, have reached number one on the New Zealand bestseller list. Several of her titles have also been published in Europe.
Ms Robertson completed her BA in English Literature, and her Master’s in Creative Writing at the University. She is well-known nationally as a panellist on RNZ’s The Panel, and as book reviewer, feature writer and New Zealand writing scene commentator. She has been Vice President of the Romance Writers of New Zealand, and currently represents New Zealand Society of Authors on the Book Awards Trust. She also teaches creative writing at Arohata prison and is a literacy tutor in prison as a Howard League volunteer.
While holding the residency, Ms Robertson will work on a novel set in Wainuiomata in the 1970s and early 1980s. The story will feature the Wainuiomata Cycling Club, which grew from modest and unlikely beginnings to become one of the most successful in the country.
IIML Director Professor Damien Wilkins, says, “Catherine’s nuanced and humorous fiction is full of zest and life. Her writing project impressed the selection panel greatly and we look forward to the novel. It will be exciting to have Catherine at the IIML.”
Ms Robertson says, “I’m thrilled and incredibly honoured to be chosen. I can’t wait to be back at IIML and be part of the creative life there. It will be fantastic to work on a brand new novel in a space that’s buzzing with writerly energy.”
Ms Robertson takes up the residency on 1 February 2020.