Skip to main content

Master of Creative Writing

Recent Books

Featured here are recent books by alums of the Master of Creative Writing programme at the University of Auckland, many of which were written during the MCW year.

The Call MCW Books

The Call

Winner of the Allen & Unwin Fiction Prize 2023. After surviving a brutal attack, Auckland cop DS Honey Chalmers has returned to her hometown to care for her mother. The remote coastal settlement of Waitutū holds complicated memories for Honey, not least the tragic suicide of her younger sister, Scarlett.…
Gavin Strawhan
May 10, 2024
Amma MCW Books


Singapore, 1951 When Josephina is a girl, her parents lock her in a room with the father of the boy to whom she's betrothed. What happens next will determine the lives of generations to come. New Zealand, 1984 Josephina and her family leave Sri Lanka for New Zealand. But their…
Saraid de Silva
May 10, 2024
Ndima Ndima MCW Books

Ndima Ndima

From the red soil of her garden in Southgate 1, a crowded suburb of Harare, Nyeredzi watches the world. She knows not to venture beyond the grasses that fence them off from the bush, where the city’s violent criminals and young lovers claim the night. But on this red soil,…
Tsitsi Mapepa
May 10, 2024
Before George MCW Books

Before George

When Marnya immigrates to New Zealand from South Africa in 1953 with her mother and sister, her mother cuts off Marnya’s hair and changes her name to George to hide her identity as a girl. Hours later, their Christmas Eve train plummets into the Whangaehu River and George loses not…
Deborah Robertson
May 10, 2024
Golden Days MCW Books

Golden Days

Golden Days is the story of the intense late-teen 1995 friendship between bookish Becky and star-dusted Zoe Golden—music, clubs, art collaboration, spirituality, sex—and what happens when one terrifying night changes their lives and destroys their friendship forever. We meet first-person protagonist Becky again seventeen years later, drunk for days and mourning…
Caroline Barron
May 10, 2024
Rough Lives Speak MCW Books

Rough Lives Speak

Rough Lives Speak, the anthology by Street Poets & Artists Collective Enterprise. SPACE is made up of eight poets and an artist--seven poets published in this book. Voices in this book speak straight from the heart of former rough sleepers honed through poetry workshops and now a publication in collaboration…
Daren Kamali
May 10, 2024
Barefoot MCW Books


Shortlisted in the NZSA New Zealand Heritage Literary Awards 2021 and the NZ Booklovers Awards 2023. Wellington, 1939. A hot summer’s day at a church picnic. Adelaide watches as a girl is rescued from the river and resolves to meet the unassuming hero of the moment. After a claustrophobic, strict…
RV Bayley
May 10, 2024
Na Viro MCW Books

Na Viro

Appearing before the head of the Academy for fighting at her graduation ceremony, puffer ship navigator Tia Grom-Eddy must either join the crew of a spaceship on a deep space mission or complete a lengthy probationary period on Earth. Mortally afraid of travelling into deep space, Tia chooses probation. Estranged…
Gina Cole
May 10, 2024
Isobar Precinct MCW Books

Isobar Precinct

Shortlisted for the Ngaio Marsh Awards 2022 (Best First Novel). Lestari Aris is a woman on the edge. Her tattoo studio on Karangahape Road is hammered by burglaries; the hangers-on in her life, from a teenage runaway to a married cop, are bonded to her for reasons she can’t fathom.…
Angelique Kasmara
May 10, 2024
Crazy Love MCW Books

Crazy Love

Based on the author's own experiences, this vivid novel explores how - as the Van Morrison song suggests - crazy love can take away the troubles. It can, though, add a whole lot more. 'We save each other, don’t we, when we are in love.' It has been 28 years…
Rosetta Allan
May 10, 2024
Spark Hunter MCW Books

Spark Hunter

Winner of the NZSA Best First Book Award 2022 NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults and the Storylines Notable Book Award 2022. Shortlisted for the Esther Glen Junior Fiction prize. Over a million hectares of wild bush-clad land and one young hunter ... Nissa Marshall knows that something…
Sonya Wilson
May 10, 2024
The Girl in the Mirror MCW Books

The Girl in the Mirror

Shortlisted for the Ngaio Marsh Awards 2021 (Best First Novel). Identical twins only look the same … Beautiful twin sisters Iris and Summer are startlingly alike, but beyond what the eye can see lies a darkness that sets them apart. Cynical and insecure, Iris has long been envious of open-hearted…
Rose Carlyle
May 9, 2024
Ripiro Beach MCW Books

Ripiro Beach

Winner of the New Zealand Heritage Literary Award for Best Non-fiction Book 2020. Does DNA write our destinies? Or do the hands that nurture triumph over nature? What is it that determines who we really are? Caroline Barron’s father never found his birth mother. After he dies suddenly on her…
Caroline Barron
May 9, 2024
Fake Baby MCW Books

Fake Baby

Longisted for the Ockham NZ Book Awards Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize 2021. Fake Baby is a tender and funny exploration of the power of words, our perception of resilience and what it means to be real. Nine Days. One City. Three Oddballs. Stephen’s dead father is threatening to destroy the world.…
Amy McDaid
May 9, 2024
Whispering City MCW Books

Whispering City

Whispering City is set between 1912 and 1917, in northern Greece, Dublin, London, Lemnos and Gallipoli. Three divisive and destructive wars sweep through the territory in rapid succession, but for three young women these uncertain times present an opportunity to escape their fettered pasts and seize the lives they want. When…
Rachel O'Connor
May 9, 2024
The Telling Time MCW Books

The Telling Time

Winner of the international First Pages Prize and shortlisted for the 2020 NZSA Heritage Literary Award. Two young women, a generation apart, travel to opposite sides of the world on fraught journeys of self-discovery. 1958: Gabrijela yearns to escape the confines of bleak post-war Yugoslavia and her tiny fishing community,…
PJ McKay
May 9, 2024
Lost Wonders MCW Books

Lost Wonders

The story of the lost wonders of New Zealand's natural history: the extinct species that are now gone forever. Lost Wonders also features some key species that are on the brink - critically endangered - and the efforts that are being made to save them for future generations. Story by…
Sarah Ell
May 8, 2024
The Unreliable People MCW Books

The Unreliable People

Is all love doomed under a heartless regime? Antonina is a student at the prestigious Academy of Art in St Petersburg. At times, though, she feels she might be a better fit at the Centre of Nonconformist Art across town. She knows she stands out as different, being neither Russian,…
Rosetta Allan
May 8, 2024
Touching the Universe MCW Books

Touching the Universe

Ten years after his father’s disappearance, Gordo Jenkins is on the brink of turning his life around. He’s about to finish college and pursue his filmmaking dream, and he’s fallen in love with Eleanor after a chance encounter in a New York City clinic. But then he’s confronted with news…
Tom Romeo
May 8, 2024
Attraction MCW Books


Longisted for the Ockham NZ Book Awards Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize 2020. The present reckons with the past in Attraction, Ruby Porter’s atmospheric debut novel. Three women are on a road trip, navigating the motorways of the North Island, their relationships with one another and New Zealand’s colonial history. Our…
Ruby Porter
May 8, 2024
Black Ice Matter MCW Books

Black Ice Matter

Winner of the Hubert Church Best First Book Award for Fiction 2017. These unpredictable short stories explore themes of heat and cold, ice and glaciers in the heat of the South Pacific, and take us into unusual lives and situations. A woman is caught between traditional ways and the regime…
Gina Cole
May 7, 2024