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Introducing Paula Morris

July 27, 2011

According to her synopsis in the 2011 Auckland Writers & Readers Festival booklet, “Paula Morris (Ngati Wai) is the author of three novels and a story collection, Forbidden Cities, all published by Penguin, and the editor of  The Penguin Book of Contemporary New Zealand Short Stories. … A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Paula teaches creative writing in the USA and the UK, and currently lives in Scotland.” (p24)

The authors of this booklet later add that she “is a New Zealand writer best known here for her ‘adult’ fiction. But in the US, where she’s taught creative writing for eight years, she’s a rising star in YA urban fantasy. Her first YA novel was the supernatural murder-mystery Ruined, set in post-Katrina New Orleans and recently optioned for film. Dark Souls, a mystery exploring the haunted city of York, will follow later this year.” (p64)  I’ll add to this as I find it out…

There is an extended interview with Morris in Words Chosen Carefully: New Zealand Writers in Discussion (pp.176-196, Ed. Siobhan Harvey. Cape Catley Ltd: Auckland 2010), in which she talks about her formative years as reader and writer, about travel and place, and about writing, of course.

And a shorter interview (on the topic of being a Maori New Zealander and a writer living abroad and writing about overseas experiences): ‘Paula Morris’ pp.61-71, Jan Morgan (2008) Speaking for themselves: Ex-pats have their say. Cape Catley Ltd: Auckland

Meanwhile, check out the following for more:

She has her own site:

and blog:

But you can also find info at:

the NZ Book CouncilLumiere;  EarthGoatUniversity of Stirling, Gothic;

and with regards to her books, more specifically:  the; YouTube

There is some interesting critical work on her fiction:

Ann Pistacchi (2007) Reading Paula Morris in the Heart of Nepantla. Journal of New Zealand Literature24.2 (2007): 98-116

Ann Pistacchi (2008) Maori-Chinese Identity in Paula Morris’s Hibiscus CoastConcentric: Literary and Cultural Studies 34.2 September 2008: 137-153 [FREELY AVAILABLE]

Ann Pistacchi (2008) ‘Any dead bodies we can exhume?’ story-blood and the politics of cultural appropriation in Paula Morris’s Queen of Beauty, Hibiscus Coast, and ‘Rangatira’ Sites: a Journal of Anthropology and Cultural Studies. 5(1) [FREELY AVAILABLE ONLINE]

Ann Pistacchi (2009) Spiraling Subversions: The Politics of Māori Cultural Survivance in the Critical Fictions of Patricia Grace, Paula Morris, and Kelly Ana Morey. University of Auckland PhD thesis: Auckland [FREELY AVAILABLE ONLINE]

Erin Mercer (2009) ‘Urban Spaces, Hybrid Faces: Rethinking Identity in Paula Morris’ Hibiscus Coast‘ pp.124-141 in Eds. Anna Jackson and Jane Stafford Floating Worlds: Essays on Contemporary New Zealand Fiction. Victoria University press: Wellington.

Moura-Koçoğlu, Michaela (2009)Manifestation of Self and/or Tribal Identity? Māori Writing in the Global Maelstrom. In Transcultural English Studies: Theories, Fictions, Realities, edited by Schulze-Engler, Frank, Helff, Sissy, Perner, Claudia, Vogt-William, Christine, 221-231. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Rodopi.


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