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Emily Perkins


Emily Perkins is the author of four novels, including Novel About My Wife, and a collection of short stories, Not Her Real Name. Her short stories have appeared in various anthologies. She teaches creative writing at The University of Auckland, and hosted TVNZ7’s book programme The Good Word.

Emily grew up in Auckland and Wellington. She left school to act in the TVNZ drama Open House, and trained at the New Zealand Drama School, but it turned out she made a better waitress than an actress. In 1993 she studied creative writing in Bill Manhire’s class at Victoria University. Her first story was published in Sport at the end of that year.

In 1994 Emily moved to London, where Picador published her first book in 1996. Her novels Leave Before You Go and The New Girl followed, and as well as fiction, book reviews and personal essays she wrote a long-running column for the Independent on Sunday.

She returned to New Zealand in 2005 and in 2006 held the Buddle Findlay Frank Sargeson Fellowship. In 2011 she was made an Arts Foundation Laureate. Her new book is The Forrests, published by Bloomsbury. Emily lives in Auckland with her husband, artist Karl Maughan, and their children.

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.