Genre guide – New Zealand fiction

This page links to recommended reading lists for New Zealand fiction in a range of genres as well as other New Zealand fiction resources. It also lists authors whose work you may like to try - including familiar names and some that may be new to you.

New Zealand fiction reflects the landscape, culture, and peoples of Aotearoa. It may explore the country's historical, colonialist past, or be set firmly in the present. It may incorporate elements of fantasy or mystery or be more literary in style. 

Fiction by New Zealand writers can reveal something of our national character - our obsessions, language, traditions, and ways of thinking. Find familiar settings, or hidden corners, characters you recognise or those that challenge, and more, in the fiction of Aotearoa.

Authors of New Zealand fiction

Recommended reading

Māori Fiction

Writers who embody the rich tradition of Māori writing in Aotearoa New Zealand. A mix of contemporary and historical stories.

New Zealand Fiction Award Winners

Novels by New Zealand authors which have been lauded with awards and critical acclaim, making their way into the New Zealand literary canon. 

New Zealand Contemporary

Contemporary fiction is all about our world as it is now - realistic plot-lines, characters, and experiences. It may focus on personal or social challenges. It can be serious or more light-hearted. These stories by New Zealand authors have the added bonus of a familiarity of setting, character or language. If you enjoy stories with recognisable people, settings, and experiences why not try contemporary fiction?

New Zealand Crime Fiction

Blood-soaked, intricately plotted, grisly stories from Kiwi writers. With detectives (clean or corrupt) and amateur sleuths, seedy urban settings, and often with an underlying sense of self-deprecating humour and wit, there's plenty of quality amongst these titles to explore the darker side of New Zealand fiction. 

New Zealand Fantasy/Horror/Sci-fi

A selection of titles celebrating Fantasy, Horror, and Sci-Fi born from the minds of talented, sometimes legendary New Zealand authors. There are epic quests, magical happenings, ghouls, and supernatural creatures from Māori myth, as well as slashers and killers. Some stories have distinctly Kiwi settings, others a more international flavour.

New Zealand Fiction by Women

An eclectic mix of books by women exploring themes of family life, relationships, culture clash and belonging told from a unique Kiwi perspective. Covering small towns and big cities, the past and the present, everyday life and zombie apocalypses, the stories on this list are a great introduction to some of New Zealand’s best female writers.

New Zealand Historical Fiction

These titles all offer a glimpse into New Zealand's past and how it might have been to live, love and survive in those times. Expect locations that are only partly familiar, and in some stories portrayals of real life figures from New Zealand history.

New Zealand Short Stories

Stories written by a range of Kiwi authors, from classic literary greats Katherine Mansfield and C. K. Stead through to the fresh talent of Micheal Botur and Amy Head. Written with passion and integrity, the stories explore what it means to be a Kiwi though evocative depictions of serious issues and whimsical imaginings.

For more try:

In the catalogue: