Skip to main content
MCW Books

Fake Baby

By May 9, 2024May 24th, 2024No Comments

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. If Stephen commits the ultimate sacrifice and throws himself into the harbour, he will save humanity. The last thing he needs is a Jehovah’s Witness masquerading as a schoolboy and an admission to a mental health facility.

Jaanvi steals a life-like doll called James and cares for him as if he were her dead baby. Her husband demands she return him. But she and James have already bonded, and it’s nobody’s business how she decides to grieve.

Lucas, pharmacist and all-round nice guy, is having one of the worst weeks of his life. His employees forgot his birthday, his mother’s gone manic, and now his favourite customer is in hospital because of a medication error he made. Can he make things right? Or is life all downhill after forty?

‘…troubled minds run through the book. But in amongst the grief and pain is a lot of humour, dry and well-observed, about relationships and society’s tutting expectations’, Mark Broatch writes in Academy of New Zealand Literature.
‘With Fake Baby McDaid gives us a comedy that should feel dark but doesn’t. The humour is kind, not cutting, and for all the pain in the characters’ mental struggles, there’s a counterbalance of optimism. McDaid connects us fully with Stephen, Jaanvi and Lucas. We see past their quirks and faults to their whole being, where we find they don’t look all that different to us’, from Catherine Robertson in Landfall.
Listen to and read more reviews of Fake Baby on Loose Reads and The Spinoff.

Fake Baby

by Amy McDaid


ISBN: 9780143774648 

Published: June 2020

Format: Paperback, 304 pages

Amy McDaid

AmyMcDaid is a New Zealand writer of European and Rarotongan descent. She holds a Master of Creative Writing from the University of Auckland and won the Sir James Wallace Prize for Fake Baby. Amy has contributed to Three Lamps Journal, The Spinoff, and MiNDFOOD magazine and works in Auckland’s Newborn Intensive Care Unit.